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Leica M 10 Digital Rangefinder Camera "Willi"
 
The Leica M digital rangefinder cameras. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.
   
 
     
   

Leica M 10 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Review Page 4

 

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4                                
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1         Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5   Leica CL: 1 2             Books


Sexy Stuff for the Worlds Most Sexy Camera - the Leica M10

By: Thorsten Overgaard. March 27, 2018. Updated May 16, 2018.

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This is my guide on accessories for the Leica M10. You’ve got the camera of your dreams, and now you wonder, "What else can I get to make myself happy?"

 

First, the essentials

Other than the Leica M10 and one favorite lens, you'll need an SD-card, an extra battery, an ND filter, and a strap so you can wear the camera comfortably every day.

When I say one lens, most Leica users factually use one lens 95% of the time, or all the time. This makes the Leica experience slightly different from the SLR where you tend to try to get a collection from fish eye to long 400mm tele lenses - and seem not to rest until you’ve got every lens in-between. More on lenses in a moment.

 

Joy Villa photographed in Vienna by Inong Hassan.
Joy Villa photographed in Vienna by Inong Hassan.

 

Preorder the Leica M11

First things first. Sometimes, the greatest joy is the waiting, and it's free. You can preorder the Leica M11 already now, just to be sure to be first in line when it comes (I would guess that would be between January 2020 and September 2021). While waiting is a joy, being the first to get something new is the blessed bonus.

I've successfully pre-ordered new camera models in the past, sometimes even pre-paid for them months in advance. For people like you and me who will surf the internet in the hopes to find something cool and extravagant to buy, preordering something cool that will come one day, actually does makes sense.

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." - William Arthur Ward

The reading on the sidewalk. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The reading on the sidewalk. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 
 

 


The best SD-card for Leica M10

The Leica M10 had some difficulties with SD-cards when it came out, which were eventually fixed with the firmware updates. Now you can use most of the cards out there, but I recommend to stay with one brand and one model, once you have something that works.

 

My preferred SD-card for the Leica M10 is first and foremost the 2000x speed Angelbird SD-cards in 64GB ($99) and 128GB ($199), secondly the Lexar 1000x 128GB SD-cards ($88).
My preferred SD-card for the Leica M10 is first and foremost the 2000x speed Angelbird SD-cards in 64GB ($99) and 128GB ($199), secondly the Lexar 1000x 128GB SD-cards ($88).

 

For the Leica M10 I have two brands which I recommend. I first went with the Lexar 1000x 128GB SD-cards ($88) but then discovered the lightening fast (in offloading pictues to the computer) Angelbird SD-cards in 64GB ($99) and 128GB ($199).

I still tend to stay with just one brand and size for each camera model. For the Leica M9 it was (and still is) the SanDisk 16GB ($11) or 32GB ($22) cards, for the Leica M240 it was (and still is) the SanDisk 64GB cards ($37) which may also be used in the Leica M10, actually.

 

The Lexar 1000x 128GB SD-cards ($88) have been working flawlessly with the Leica M10 for me.
The Lexar 1000x 128GB SD-cards ($88) have been working flawlessly with the Leica M10 for me.

 

SDFormatter software

You should download the free software SDFormatter for Mac to have it ready. (Also availabe as SDFormatter for Windows)

What does it do? It formats your SD-card so you get back optimum speed when you for some reason or another lose the speed (after formatting the card in other cameras, etc).

The way to use a SD-card is:

1. Use one card and shoot only with that.
2. Download the images to the computer.
3. Delete the images on the card.
4. Put the card back in the camera.
5. Have a backup card in a pocket or bag that you only use if the one you use fails.

 

 

Which lens to get first

When people ask, which lens to get with their first Leica, the answer is 35mm or 50mm. Those are the two most used lenses with the Leica M. A few will prefer 28mm or 75mm or something else as their day-to-day lens, but for most of us it's a 35mm or a 50mm lens.

Chad in Havana with his 50mm Noctilux. © 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Chad in Havana with his 50mm Noctilux. © 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard.

Next burning question is 2.0 Summicron or 1.4 Summilux? The price of Summilux is traditionally double that of the Summicron. The answer is that the 2.0 Summicron lenses (and also 2.8 Elmarit) are great. However, if you got attracted to Leica, you are probably attracted to the simplicity, quality and excellence of it all. The 1.4 Summilux represents that. My advice usually is, that if you can't sleep at night without dreaming of the Summilux (or 0.95 Noctilux), don't try to economize by getting the 2.0 Summicron. Get what you want to begin with. On the other hand, if you can happily use a 2.0 Summicron and never feel like you’ve got to have the Summilux, be happy and do just that.

You can also jump directly to the Summarit lenses, which are inexpensive, very good and will not cause you a lot of stress getting the rangefinder focusing right (as they do not have that narrow focus). As a testament to the quality of the Summarit lenses, I've had students in my workshops that own most Leica lenses who preferred their Summarit lenses.

 

The quick-guide to standard lenses

For an overview of all Leica lenses ever made, have a look at my Leica Lens Compendium.

50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH (model 11891) 2006 $3,895
50mm f/2.0 APO-Summicron-M (model 11141) "Worlds Best" 2013 $7.795
50mm f/2.0 Summicron-M (model 11826) 1979 $2,295
50mm f/2.4 Summarit-M ASPH (model 11680) 2014 $1,795
50mm f/2.0 Summicron-M "Rigid" (model SOSIC) 1956-68 $400 - $1,800
50mm f/0.95 Noctilux-M ASPH FLE (model 11602) 2008 $10,795
35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH "FLE" (model 11663) 2010 $4,995
35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M ASPH Version VI (model 11673) 2016 $3,195
35mm f/2.4 Summarit-M (model 11671) 2014 $1,995
35mm f/2.0 Summicron-M Version IV "King of Bokeh" (11310) 1979-97 $1,400 - $4,000


So much history, so many choices

Leica lenses stretch back 100 years, so there's quite a few models to choose from. Some are rare and very expensive, others are available and can be found at fair prices. Then older the lens, the more the price is determined by how few exist rather than the optical quality. Here's just the versions of the 35mm Summicron in the M-mount. There's a number of lenses older than these in "screw mount" which can all be attached to current Leica M cameras via an adapter. Read my article on 35mm Summicron here.

 

11808 Version I Chrome   11 309 wetzlarer Germany   11 309 Canada
Version I chrome   Version II made in Germany 11309   Version II made in Canada 11309
         
11 309 Canada   11 310 Black King of Bokeh   11609 Titanium
Version III made in Canada   Version IV "King of Bokeh"   Version V limited edition titanium
         
11 879 Black   11 882 Chrome  
Version V black   Version V chrome   Version V limited edition black paint
         
Version VI silver 2016. Model 11674. Comes with square hood from Leica. (Here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Version VI silver 2016. Model 11673. Comes with square hood from Leica. (Here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).  
Version VI silver 2016. Model 11674. Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Version VI silver 2016. Model 11673. Comes with square hood from Leica (model 12473; here with the ventilated hood designed by Overgaard).   Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 Black Chrome Limited Edition with red focusing scale (500 made in 2015, no 11689). Comes with ventilated clip-on Leica hood.

 

The difference between old and new lenses

The newer the Leica lens, the more resolution (as in details recorded per mm), contrast, clarity and correct colors. Newer lenses use optical design and (mainly) lens coatings to control reflections and (skin) colors.

In high fidelity, watches, cars and other things most would expect that the older the item, the better the quality and the more care went into the details. That's true for much manufacturing, but not in the case of Leica lenses. Unlike most brands, Leica will deploy the most expensive raw materials they see fit, extreme care in hand-assembled production, and an overall extreme reach for highest quality, despite the costs.

The extreme quality is a Leica tradition since 100 years ago, only changed for the better by the improved precision in production, more accurate precision-assembling, grinding of the optics and computer-aided design. Many of the optical qualities are the same: The idea of how the image must look is the same, but as we have moved forward from 100 years until today, the overall precision has improved.

 

So much to love: Two extremes that are in family and have many of the same qualities. The $400 - $1,800 50mm "Rigid" from 1956-68 (left), and "The Worlds Best 50mm Lens" from 2013, the APO-Summicron (right) in a limited "LHSA" edition for $9.595.
So much to love
: Two extremes that are in the same family and have many of the same qualities. The $400 - $1,800 50mm "Rigid" from 1956-68 (left), and "The Worlds Best 50mm Lens" from 2013, the APO-Summicron (right) in a limited "LHSA" edition for $9.595.

 

If you compare the two lenses shown above, the 50mm "Rigid" from 1960's and "The World’s Best 50mm" from 2013, the fundamental aesthetical qualities are much the same. But in comparison, the newer lens has extreme micro-details and extreme control of light, resulting in clarity, correct colors and higher contrast (even with strong backlight). If you imagine a photo taken with a cheap plastic lens, all highlights will have strong halo. With a quality lens, there is no halo - no overflow of light. Light is light, shadow is shadow. Period.

Even between extreme lenses as the 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 from 2008 and the 75mm Noctilux-M f/1.25 from 2018, the extremely well-made optical design of 2008 has improved in ten years forward to 2018: Tighter control with light, colors and contrast.

Almost all Leica lenses have the "Leica look", which may be described as "soft, detailed and alive". They further have some qualities to them that defy words. You recognize it when you see it.

This philosophy behind the special Leica look is described by lens designer Peter Karbe in my interview with him on the 50mm APO lens here.

 

The Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25

Another master statement in optical design is the Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25 lens that started delivery in 2018.

 

 

Classic, exotic and rare Leica lenses

One thing you can obviously spoil yourself and your Leica with, is classic, exotic and rare lenses. With a catalog of available lenses almost 100 years back, there's plenty of lenses that might, or might not, make life really sweet.

 

Screw Mount Lenses on the Leica M

The M bayonet is the current bayonet (left), and before that it was Screw Mount (right). But can be used on the Leica M.
The M bayonet is the current bayonet (left), and before that it was Screw Mount (right). Both can be used on the Leica M.

 

M39 screw mount lenses: Factually, all Leica screw mount lenses (M39) made for the first Leica models will fit on any modern Leica M. You simply invest in a screw mount to M adapter and the focus and all works as if it was a lens with M mount. I remcommend to let the adapter sit on the lens, so if you buy several screw mount lenses, buy the same number of adapters and leave one on each lens. The original Leica adapter is precious and sought-after, but lots of third party adapters exists, from Novoflex ($100) to no-brand adapters from eBay.

Leitz Leicaflex SL MOT black
One of the more exotic screw mount lenses is the "Thambar" made in 1934. In this photo you see a complete set of a Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2 that consist of the original red box, lens cap, lens shade and the special soft focus filter with a black dot in the middle. They exist in both a Meter and a Feet edition (the focusing scale). Only 3,500 or less were made from 1934-1940, from serial number 226001 to 540500 which sells for around $4,000 second-hand. But then Leica decided to re-make this lens in 2017, so now you can get it as a brand new lens (with M munt) for $7,000.

 

Another candidate for exploring the past is the Leitz 50mm Summarit f/1.4 with from 1955 with screw mount. Prices are approximately $500, and it's an interesting lens for portraits due to it's traditional "soft but detailed" rendering. Also known as the "Mandler look" before it all became very clear. I deliberately show a version here with some micro-scratches on the front element. You can go for a perfect version, but you may also find it exotic and fun to find a less perfect version. After all, if you want perfection, look no further than the current 50mm lenses designed by Peter Karbe.
Another candidate for exploring the past is the Leitz 50mm Summarit f/1.4 from 1955 with screw mount. Prices are approximately $500, and it's an interesting lens for portraits due to it's traditional "soft but detailed" rendering. Also known as the "Mandler look" before it all became very clear. I deliberately show a version here with some micro-scratches on the front element. You can go for a perfect version, but you may also find it exotic and fun to find a less perfect version. After all, if you want perfection, look no further than the current 50mm lenses designed by Peter Karbe. Photo by M&K Kamera in Hong Kong who's website should keep you drooling for some hours.

 

The Leica 28mm Summaron-M f/5.6 was released in a new and current version in 2016. In this picture it's the original version. If you look for one, buy the new model which has very good optics. The original version has a soft look to the pictures.
The Leica 28mm Summaron-M f/5.6 was re-released in a new and current version in 2016. In this picture it's the original version on the Leica M-D 262. If you look for one, buy the new model which has very good optics. The original version has a soft look to the pictures.

 

 

Leica R Lenses on the Leica M

Leica R lenses: All lenses made for the Leica R SLR system will also fit onto the Leica M with an R to M adapter. To make things worse, you can find adapters that enables you to mount Nikon, Canon and many other lenses to the Leica M.

My Leitz Leicaflex SL mot film camera with the Leica 80 mm Summilux-R f/1.4 lens that will also fit your Leica M via an R-to-M adapter. This lens behave and look very much like a classic 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 and the 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. Price is around $2.500 in most places you will find it. © Thorsten von Overgaard
My Leitz Leicaflex SL mot film camera with the Leica 80 mm Summilux-R f/1.4 lens that will also fit your Leica M via an R-to-M adapter. This lens behave and look very much like a classic 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 and the 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4. Price is around $2.500 in most places you will find it. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard

 

Buy a vintage 35mm Summilux

If you think that for example the Leica Cine lenses ($17,500 - 38,000 per lens) are too big, then here's a little lens that can rip your bank account just as bad. The Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPHERICAL f/1.4 is the first edition with two aspherical surfaces, which is why it is referred to as the AA or Double Aspherical. Not only does it have two surfaces (as the only 35mm), they were also hand grinded.

This makes it all more interesting. None of them will be the same and the hunt for the one with the perfect image quality and bokeh is something that will spice it all up, on top of the price of $11,000 - $18,000 they usually sell for.

I can't really say that it is much different or better than the current Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE (FLoating Element) as far as image quality goes, but it sure feels different to use a vintage lens that is so limited, unique, handmade and special. More on that in my Leica 35mm Summilux article.

 

50mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 collapsible
While on the waiting list for new exotic lenses, perhaps try some of the classic lenses that you may find in Germany, Hong Kong or other places for a reasonable price. Here it is Bryan Loo's Leica 50mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 collapsible lens with accompanying original chrome lens shade. The great thing is that any of the older lenses from Leica, since 1930's will fit the Leica M wither with or without an adapter. But also Nikon, Canon, Leica R lenses and many other lenses will fit onto the Leica M, and the Live View enable you to focus precise even with lenses without coupling to the cameras focus mechanism (because Live View shows on the screen or in the viewfinder what the sensor sees, hence if it is sharp there, it is sharp in the final image).

 

A classic Leica 50mm lens - The "Rigid"

Simplicity: It looks like a good old classic camera. The Leica M 240 in silver chrome with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 ("star" / "rigid" from 1964), Leica M Monochrom strap and the Leica Multidysfunctional Handgrip. I've used this lens model extensively for the last 10 years, and it has many of the features of the famed Leica 50mm APO.
Simplicity: It looks like a good old classic camera. The Leica M 240 in silver chrome with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 ("star" / "rigid" from 1964), Leica M Monochrom strap and the Leica Multidysfunctional Handgrip. I've used this lens model extensively for the last 10 years, and it has many of the features of the famed Leica 50mm APO.

 

         
  My other Leica M10 articles  
         
 
The Force Awakens
 
Leica M10 in the Rain
 
         
 
Sexy Stuff for the Leica M10
 
Leica M10 Masterclass (video on-line course)
 
         
 
The Leica M10 Video Review
 
Leica M10 Goes to Cuba
 
         

 

 

Impossible lenses

The harder to get, the better. As the Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 in chrome. It's heavier (because it's made of brass), but it looks really nice with the silver chrome Leica M. (Almost) impossible to find.

 

Leica M 240 with silver chrome Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 vs the black ditto. If you find the silver one the price is usually around $6,000, almost the double of the black ditto as second hand. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M 240 with silver chrome Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 vs the black ditto. If you find the silver one the price is usually around $6,000, almost the double of the black ditto as second hand. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Vintage lenses

It's not always a great marriage, but often it is fun to try out older lenses like the 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0. This lens was made for the Leica CL film camera kit that Leica made with Minolta in the 1970's to offer a "Mini M" for new clients. This is a $400 lens in most places.

I got a 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 lens to spice up things a bit on my Leica M9 and Leica M10. We'll see how that goes. The shade is my own designed E39 ventilated shade, replacing the original rubber shade.
I got a 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0 lens to spice up things a bit on my Leica M9 and Leica M10. We'll see how that goes. The shade is my own designed E39 ventilated shade, replacing the original rubber shade.

 

The Silver Noctilux

Since May 2014 the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 became available in Silver as a lens available from stock.

It's a little unfortunate for those who bought a Leica "limited edition" set with a silver Noctilux and thought they were one of only 20-30 people in the world with a Silver Noctilux. Just to wake up three years later to discover that now everybody can get one for normal price. Bad management, good lens design. Bottom line is that the silver Noctilux is available.

Explore the Noxtilux lenses

The Noctilux is the crown jewel of the Leica M lenses, and there's a few models to chase down. Prices goes from $5,000 to $30,000 for the individual models.

The Noctilux family (from bottom and clockwise): The very first 1966-model, the Leica Noctilux-M f/1.2 ASPH (model 11820, 1966-1975), the current 2008-model in silver, 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE (FLoating Element, model 11667), the 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 with built-in hood (model 11822), and on the Leica M240 camera, the current 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 in black (model 11602). Not shown in the picture is the previous models of the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 (three versions of the model 11821 from 1976-1993 with bayonet or clip-on lens shades; all of which has the same optical design as the one with the built-in plastic hood, but filter sizes from 58mm to 60mm). © 2016-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Noctilux family (from bottom and clockwise): The very first 1966-model, the Leica Noctilux-M f/1.2 ASPH (model 11820, 1966-1975), the current 2008-model in silver, 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE (FLoating Element, model 11667), the 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 with built-in hood (model 11822), and on the Leica M240 camera, the current 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 in black (model 11602). Not shown in the picture is the previous models of the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0 (three versions of the model 11821 from 1976-1993 with bayonet or clip-on lens shades; all of which has the same optical design as the one with the built-in plastic hood, but filter sizes from 58mm to 60mm). © 2016-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Get a $8 pin, or give as a gift!

The Capture Beauty pin and other pins from Asilda Store in Los Angeles are cute metal pins.
The Capture Beauty pin and other pins from Asilda Store in Los Angeles are cute metal pins.

 

 

Buy the "Hemingway Presets" ny Thorsten Overgaard today.
Buy the "Hemingway Presets" ny Thorsten Overgaard today.

 

Personalize your camera

Leica offers engravings on cameras, and all you have to do is ask for a quote. A drawing, your signature, a classic Leica engraving. The possibilities are endless on the top plate, the bottom plate, on the back and front and so forth.


Engraving a Leica is a great way to personalize it. Leica Camera AG offers custom engravings from the factory in Wetzlar. Either as an a-la-carte edition from new, or on the camera you already got and used.
Engraving a Leica is a great way to personalize it. Leica Camera AG offers custom engravings from the factory in Wetzlar. Either as an a-la-carte edition from new, or on the camera you already got and used.

 


Laser-engraved name and e-mail in the bottom plate of the Leica M240. Good idea if it gets lost. Photo: Randy Walters who had this laser-engraved by a small laser engraving company in Rhode Island. I have labels inside my cameras, and on the batteries.

 

The personal engraving

Most people didn't think it would be possible to apply Leica Camera AG's "a la carte" program to the Leica M, Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom - which is the program where one can get the Leica MP or M7 tailored to ones personal preferences in a number of diferent leather qualities and colors, with or without engravings, with red, black or chrome Leica dot (or without), technical details such as viewfinder types and different types of chrome, hammerthone or black paint finish to the metal surface of the camera.

In 2010, when my M9 had to go to the Leica Mothership for an adjustment for the first time, I wrote on the order form, "Please engrave 'Leica' on the top plate in the style of the 2003 MP," and much to my surprise they simply sent me an order confirmation. Highly encouraged by the possibilities, I then added to the order that I wanted my name as well engraved! Nothing less.

 

My Leica M9 top plate with my "Leica" engraving a la the 2003 Leica MP special edition (same size and placing on the top plate).
My Leica M9 top plate with my "Leica" engraving a la the 2003 Leica MP special edition (same size and placing on the top plate).

 

The day after I had requested it, I regretted. Did I really want my name on my camera? In some way I did. Then again, I like not to be noticed when photographing. Or rather, it doesn't matter, but there is no reason to put a label on. The resale value of a camera with one’s personal name undoubtedly goes down unless the new owner has the same name (and I know nobody with my name). But then again, would I really care to ever sell it? Probably not. And was it really a big deal if I had it or not? "Nah, let's just go on with it," I decided.

Perhaps destiny was involved, or some higher powers - because the camera came back with just the Leica engraving. They had not noticed that I had added the name request. In any case, it looked great and for a couple of hours I felt I had accomplished something very special. That was how long it took before I found out that Jaap in the Netherlands had also gotten that engraving - but with his initials below!

Oh well...

 

         
  New from Thorsten Overgaard:
Leica M Video Masterclasses
 
         
 

Thorsten Overgaard Leica M10 Video Masterclass

Enjoy this easy to use video class with
Thorsten Overgaard going over the Leica M10. More than one hour one-on-one with Thorsten on the camera, the menu, shooting outside, focusing and more.

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.

Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M10 Masterclass Video Course

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Thorsten Overgaard Leica M24 Video Masterclass

Enjoy this easy to use video class with
Thorsten Overgaard going over the Leica M 240. Almost two hours one-on-one with Thorsten on the camera, the menu, shooting outside, focusing and more.

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.

Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M 240 Masterclass Video Course

Save $100.00

NORMAL PRICE $398.00
Use CODE: M240 to save $100.00
100% satisfaction or 100% return.

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Buy both and save $300.00

Leica M10 Video Masterclass and Leica M240 Video Masterclass
ONLY $498.00

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The "Sexy" Monochrom

With the Leica M Monochrom in 2012, I wanted an engraving again, but I wanted it to be different than the M9. I thought long and hard about it! What should it be? The answer was that when I got the Leica M Monochrom and used the first day, it was difficult to describe exactly what the soul of that camera was. It was clearly different, and it wasn't just that it was black and white. "It's sexy", was how I had described it, and that was perhaps the most precise I have ever gotten to describing the Leica M Monochrom since then.

It turned out that I could get a typeface designed based on the original Leica typeface, and with quite some work it was possible to change it into the word "Sexy" in a way so it looked very much like Leica, but was actually "Sexy" when you looked further. There it was. I happened to visit Leica to drop it off, and to my surprise they came back with it three hours later. The engraving was done.

 

The "Sexy" Leica M Monochrom with Annie Barton 1972 Braided strap and Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II ("star" / "rigid" from 1964)
The "Sexy" Leica M Monochrom with Annie Barton 1972 Braided strap and Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II ("star" / "rigid" from 1964)


Half a year later I got a four page long non-disclosure paper from Leica Camera AG that I had to sign. If I told anybody about the engraving, I had to pay 10,000 Euros!

What?

I called my contact in Pro Customer Service to hear what that was all about. Was it because it said Sexy? No, it turned out that Leica had only engraved three Leica M Monochrom cameras, and they weren't supposed to. But nobody knew, and nobody had asked.

I couldn't do much other than laugh about it. I had the engraving, why would I sign a document? I said I would come by with the Leica M 240 in a week, and when that was engraved, then I would sign! We laughed a bit about it and left it at that.

But from 2014 forward it became a normal service again, so I had my Leica M 240 engraved with the same "MP 2003"-engraving as I had made on the M9, but slightly adjusted so as to align with the microphone.

 

My Leica M 240 top plate with my "Leica" engraving a la the 2003 Leica MP special edition (same size and placing on the top plate, though taking the built-in microphone into account, which is why it has been moved a little further towards the center of the camera).
My Leica M240 top plate with my "Leica" engraving a la the 2003 Leica MP special edition (same size and placing on the top plate, though taking the built-in microphone into account, which is why it has been moved a little further towards the center of the camera).

 

A classic Leica engraving with Made in Germany and the serial number applied to the silver chrome Leica M 240. This camera is with a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 lens and an Annie Barton braided strap in natural leather.
A classic Leica engraving with Made in Germany and the serial number applied to the silver chrome Leica M 240. This camera is with a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 lens and an Annie Barton braided strap in natural leather.

 

An engraving is in the range of € 250. Sometimes they change the top plate to engrave, sometimes not. I guess it is a matter of how successful the engraving is on the original top plate. If not, they take a new one. So get it done before it gets patina, or before you want to sell it as mint.

 

Signature Engravings on the Leica

Jono Slack in the UK had his signature engraved on his Leicas. Here it's the Le3ica M10 with the Rock'n'Roll Napa Strap in red. I've seen other's having their signature engraved on the vertical back of the camera next to the viewfinder.

 

Engravings in special colors

I had my Leica M 240 engraved in Hermes orange ...

Leica M 240 silver with Leica orange laser-engraving on the top plate. The strap is a Tie-Her-Up 125 cm strap made in Greece.
Leica M 240 silver with Leica orange laser-engraving on the top plate. The strap is a Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps 125 cm strap made in Greece.

 

Hari Subramanyam in Germany had Leica Camera AG change all the engravings on his Leica SL (and lens) into red paint. The ventilated lens hood is the one I make and you can get in the Overgaard Gallery Store.
Hari Subramanyam in Germany had Leica Camera AG change all the engravings on his Leica SL (and lens) into red paint. The ventilated lens hood is the one I make and you can get in the Overgaard Gallery Store.

 

I recently had the text under the Leica engraving that the Leica M-D 262 comes with, toned down with a dark grey color. I had seen that one of the guys who works in Leica Shop Vienna had all the text on his camera made into very dark grey, so that gave me the idea.

 

Leica M-D 262 with the engraving on the top plate that it comes with. But I had the text below the Leica engraving changed from white to dark grey.
Leica M-D 262 with the engraving on the top plate that it comes with. But I had the text below the Leica engraving changed from white to dark grey.

 

Leica's that glows in the dark

Back in 2009 I asked Leica Camera AG to replace the white paint in the engravings on my shutter speed dial of the Leica M9 with something that would glow in the dark. Back then they didn't have the possibility for it, but in 2018 they released the limited edition Leica M 246 with glowing numbers (as a contrast to the else all-black camera). Maybe it's time to ask for it again ...


The limited edition Leica M 246 glows in the dark.

 

Engravings on lenses

If you notice, some lenses has orange and white engravings (orange for feet scale on the focusing ring), others have red and white. You can get the paint in the engravings changed or restored by Leica Camera AG.

Of course special engravings can also be made on lenses if you ask nicely.

An example of standard engravings and use of colors. The Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 LHSA limited edition lens (this is a lens that was made in the 1959-design but with the 2004-design of the glass inside). On black lenses the feet are given in orange or red, on chrome lenses the feet are given in red (or orange). It has been claimed that the color indicates if it is a brass lens, but that is not the case according to the lens designers I have spoken to. There has never been a system like that for Leica lenses. LHSA is short for Leica Historical Society of America.
An example of standard engravings and use of colors. The Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 LHSA limited edition lens (this is a lens that was made in the 1959-design but with the 2004-design of the glass inside). On black lenses the feet are given in orange or red, on chrome lenses the feet are given in red (or orange). It has been claimed that the color indicates if it is a brass lens, but that is not the case according to the lens designers I have spoken to. There has never been a system like that for Leica lenses. LHSA is short for Leica Historical Society of America.


The LHSA limited edition has this special engraving with LHSA logo. In the later limited edition of the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome lens, the feet are in red.
The LHSA limited edition has this special engraving with LHSA logo.
In the later limited edition of the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome lens (the not-lHSA limited edition), the feet are in red.

 

Special engraving made by Leica Camera AG to commemorate their designer Andre de Winter (who also happened to design the Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens on the camera).
Special engraving made by Leica Camera AG to commemorate their designer Andre de Winter (who also happened to design the Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens on the camera).

 

 

Tweaking the Leica to extremes

The possibilities are unlimited if you really want a special Leica. Photographer John Botte that is featured in this article has made it almost a rule to tweak all of his cameras to be different creatures. Here's are a few of them.

Red Leica M7 with red, red, red. That guy has some balls. Leica 35mm FLE with ventilated lens hood.
Red Leica M7 with red, red, red. That guy has some balls. Leica 35mm FLE with ventilated lens hood.

 

Some other of John Botte's cameras.
Some other of John Botte's cameras.

 


Here is a Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 where the orange scale has been changed to red.
Here is a Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 where the orange scale has been changed to red.

 

Ventilated lens shades

I like ventilated lens shades for decoration and to protect the lens against bumps. So I had some made for my own lenses, and then of course people started asking how to get them. That's how I started making ventilated lens shades for most Leica lenses. See more here in the Overgaard Gallery Store.

 

My Leica M with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE and the ventilated lens shade and Tie Her Up Rock'n'Roll strap. The ventilated lens shade goes on the outside screw of the lens, leaving the filter screw for filters. You can buy the lens shade in Black Paint ($129) and soon also in Silver ($149) on this page.
My Leica M with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE and the ventilated lens shade and Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps Rock'n'Roll strap. The ventilated lens shade goes on the outside screw of the lens, leaving the filter screw for filters. You can buy the lens shade in Black Paint or Silver on this page.

 


Lightroom Survival Kit 6

 

All those camera straps

The simplicity of the Leica M doesn't invite to add a lot to it. Most stay with the original outfit. But we want more lenses, bags and all - and then again we want simplicity and as little as possible.

Camera straps is an area of photography style where one can allow oneself to go a little nuts. The economy involved is more moderate than the lenses, and if one finds a new nice strap, it's one way to sex up the camera for a while.

I have built a small but impressive collection of camera straps. Some I don't use at all for a number of reasons, others I usually use throughout the whole life span of a camera. Then again, sometimes I change.

But most of all camera straps should be practical and personal.

The new addition for my Leica is the black leather Rock'n'Roll Chain from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps in Greece. They claim it was inspired by the photo of the Monochrom strap above. Just to emphasize the thinking behind they also made a neck strap of the same material.

The camera strap is really soft, a little elastic and very elegant. I shall post a little more about this one and their other straps shortly.

 


Rock'n'Roll M10 Ash Brown strap. Photo: Evris Papanikolas.

 

The very popular "Rock'n'Roll" strap from Tie Her Up was inspired by a guitar strap. No surprise, the always fashionable guitar player of The Kill, Jamie Hince, simply uses his Micky Mouse guitar strap as his camera strap. Wrong camera, but cool idea.
The very popular "Rock'n'Roll" strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps was inspired by a guitar strap. No surprise, the always fashionable guitar player of The Kill, Jamie Hince, simply uses his Micky Mouse guitar strap as his camera strap. Wrong camera, but cool idea.

 

I got my new black leather Tie Her Up camera strap sent to Los Angeles in August 2015 from Greece. It's a Rock'n'Roll Chain custom made for my Leica M 240 so it fits perfectly with a 125 cm length (the long of the two lengths it comes in). Tie Her Up also makes their straps custom length, so all you got to do is ask. Leica M 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.
I got my new black leather Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps camera strap sent to Los Angeles in August 2015 from Greece. It's a Rock'n'Roll Chain custom made for my Leica M 240 so it fits perfectly with a 125 cm length (the long of the two lengths it comes in). Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps also makes their straps custom length, so all you got to do is ask. Leica M 246 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
.

 

Riviera Camera Strap (€67) from Tie Her Up. They make custom lengths. The camera is my Leica M 240 in chrome with Hermes orange Leica engraving. © 2015-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.
Riviera Camera Strap (€67) from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps. They make custom lengths. The camera is my Leica M 240 in chrome with Hermes orange Leica engraving. © 2015-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

I was so happy with the Rock'n'Roll Chain strap that I got myself some of the others as well. Both for the Leica Q as well as for the Leica M. The first one I got was a relatively rough leather strap that had the perfect length (125-130 cm) and just works very well. Next came two softer Riviera camera straps (€67) that are a little more elegant made. I got a dark brown and one in cognac (above in the picture). I really liked them but had trouble deciding on the color. ... so the next one coming will be in red!

 

Leica M 240 silver with a Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps 125 cm red leather strap made in Greece. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.
Leica M 240 silver with a Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps 125 cm red leather strap made in Greece. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.

 

Leica M9 grey with the orange Rock'n'Roll Chain leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps. A 125 cm strap made in Greece. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.
Leica M9 grey with the orange Rock'n'Roll Chain leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps. A 125 cm strap made in Greece. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.

 

Leica M10 in silver with the 125 cm Rock'n'Roll Napa leather strap. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.
Leica M10 in silver with the 125 cm Rock'n'Roll Napa leather strap. See www.rocknrollstraps.com.

 

A simple black strap (110 cm), made in Sweden by Daniel Gustavsson. Check out his stuff on www.larsdanielgustavsson.se
A simple black strap (110 cm), made in Sweden by Daniel Gustavsson. Check out his stuff on www.larsdanielgustavsson.se

 

Hermés Barda camera bag and Annie Barton camera strap. The Hermés "Barda" bag comes in two sizes, 35 x 27 x 7 cm and 43 cm and in etain/pewter and ebene/ebony colors and black sikkim calfskin leather. The price is HK$49700 and HK$58600 respectively.Hermés Barda camera bag and Annie Barton camera strap. The Hermés "Barda" bag comes in two sizes, 35 x 27 x 7 cm and 43 cm and in etain/pewter and ebene/ebony colors and black sikkim calfskin leather. The price is HK$49700 and HK$58600 respectively.

 

The very sexy Annie Barton handmade full leather braided neck strap (above and below) comes also as hand wrist, and in brown, matte black, glossy black and even some funky orange, blue and white colors.

I use the short one which is the correct length for me (115 cm), but also a longer one is available if you have a tall and/or large body.

The Annie Barton 1972 straps and bags are handmade in Hong Kong and are also sold from Red Dot Cameras in London. If you go to Hong Kong and visit the store of Annie Barton on the third floor in Central Hong Kong, you won't meet Annie Barton as that is a made-up name. But you might meet the couple that produce and sell the Annie Barton straps and bags. Their opening hours are usually from after lunch until late.

 


The Annie Barton braided strap has nylon enhancement to hold onto the rings, as well as new and stronger o-rings Annie Barton had designed for them.
The Annie Barton braided strap has nylon enhancement to hold onto the rings, as well as new and stronger o-rings Annie Barton had designed for them.

 

 

The new improved Annie Barton strap

The 2016-edition of the Annie Barton braided strap comes in many lengths and colors. Also the usual black. But more importantly the connection the camera rings has been strengthened with nylon so the strap lasts longer.

 

Annie Barton 2972 improved strap (2018) now has their own design of 0-rings as well as a much stronger stitching.
Annie Barton 1972 improved Braided strap (2018) now has their own design of 0-rings as well as a much stronger stitching.

 

 

New Annie Barton "The Whip" camera strap

Another new Annie Barton 1972 strap (as of 2018), the Whip.
Another new Annie Barton 1972 strap (as of 2018), the Whip.

 

Gordy's Camera Strap

Gordy's Camera Staps
Gordy's Camera Straps, for the hand wrist: This is the regular length of three sizes, with a wrist pad. Photo: Marc Wuger.

 

Gordy's Camera Staps
Gordy's Camera Straps makes affordable, custom-made shoulder straps as well. Any length and colors mix you like.

 

         
 

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Harry Benz Straps

Harry Benz is handmade straps in any length you want, any design you can think of.
Harry Benz is handmade straps in any length you want, any design you can think of.

 

 

The Special Edition Rock'n'Roll camera strap

I got my new Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps Rock'n'Roll Special Edition camera strap. It's a beast.

 

Special Edition Rock'n'Roll camera strap from rocknrollstraps.com. Waxed leather. Cigar Brown.
Special Edition Rock'n'Roll camera strap from rocknrollstraps.com. Waxed leather. Cigar Brown. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

The Sailor Strap

El Capitan Neck Strap from sailorstrap.com will do the trick if you want to go a little exotic on camera straps and want the real sailor material that can go through the seven seas and over the mountains without breaking. It's a brilliant idea, making camera straps from real rope.

They will also do custom sizes and ship out of Warszawa, Poland to any location in the world.

 

El Capitan Neck Strap from sailorstrap.com is a $67 strap made from real sailors rope. They will also do custom sizes. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
El Capitan Neck Strap from sailorstrap.com is a $67 strap made from real sailor's rope. They will also do custom sizes. © 2016-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The Sailor Strap is made in Warshaw, Poland and ships world-wide. See more models on their Instagram or their website.
The Sailor Strap is made in Warshaw, Poland and ships world-wide. See more models on their Instagram or their website.

 

 

Handmade in Indonesia

Photographer Yb Putrola from Yogyakarta in Indonesia makes handmade camera straps and wrist straps, hand stitched, with a special touch and brass rings. All are made in few samples. You'll have to look him up on Instagram.com/ybputro and see some of the types untill he gets a website. You can mail him at ybputro@yahoo.com. Usual lengths are 95 cm and 120 cm.

 

#ybstrap
#Ybstrap from Instagram.com/ybputro

 



The HAWKESMILL brown leather camera strap is made in England. It's a new brand started in 2016. It has a large o-ring and a protector for the camera body so it doesn't get scratched. They are also making some nice camera bags. Leica M 240 with orange engraving on top (made by Leica Camera in Wetzlar) and 35mm FLE with my own designed ventilated lens shade
The HAWKESMILL brown leather camera strap is made in England. It's a new brand started in 2016. It has a large o-ring and a protector for the camera body so it doesn't get scratched. They are also making some nice camera bags. Leica M 240 with orange engraving on top (made by Leica Camera in Wetzlar) and 35mm FLE with my own designed ventilated lens shade.

 

 

David Innerhofer with the Louis Vuitton strap in 110 cm length. © 2015-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
David Innerhofer with the Louis Vuitton strap in 110 cm length. © 2015-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

What is long enough?

For me 110-125 cm is a comfortable length of a camera strap. That means that the camera can hang across the chest and rest by the hip. But most camera straps are made to 90 cm and that is too short for anything but hanging on the chest.

Here are some of my camera straps:

 

A cavalcade of camera straps for the Leica M. From left A&A 250, A&A, Louis Vuitton, Leica A la Carte in brown, Annie Barton glossy black x 2, Annie Barton matte black, A&A 252, Gordy's camera strap, and finally to the right, the standard Leica camera strap that comes with the Leica M 240, Leica M9 and Leica M9-P (The Leica M Monochrom comes with a black leather strap not shown here. It can be bought as a spare part from any Leica Store).
A cavalcade of camera straps for the Leica M. From left A&A 250, A&A, Louis Vuitton, Leica A la Carte in brown (comes in a lot of colors) , Annie Barton glossy black braided x 2, Annie Barton matte black, A&A ACAM 252, Gordy's camera strap, and finally to the right, the standard Leica camera strap that comes with the Leica M 240, Leica M9 and Leica M9-P (The Leica M Monochrom comes with a black leather strap not shown here, and the Leica M10 also comes with it's own strap). It can be bought as a spare part from any Leica Store).

 

 

The Mada1432 strap from Indonesia

A pure beauty of soft orange leather, with painted edges as I had requested. Mada1432 camera strap from Indonesia.

It may be generally unknown that Indonesia has one of the most enthusiastic Leica societies in the world. Have a look at the Facebook page ISPL (Indonesian Street-Photography Lovers).

 

The Mada1432 camera strap from Indonesia with painted edges has been in my dreams for a while. Now it sits on the Leica M 240 that BH Photo in New York shipped overnight. And not to forget, the sexy Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
The Mada1432 camera strap from Indonesia with painted edges has been in my dreams for a while. Now it sits on the Leica M 240 that BH Photo in New York shipped overnight. And not to forget, the sexy Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

Andreas Rutsch from Munich also ordered a couple of straps from MADA1432. It takes some time and effort communicating with them, but once you agree what needs to happen, it arrives VERY quickly (within a week. The strap in this images is a little thicker than mine above, and also longer. 100% custom made.
Andreas Rutsch from Munich also ordered a couple of straps from MADA1432. It takes some time and effort communicating with them, but once you agree what needs to happen, it arrives VERY quickly (within a week. The strap in this images is a little thicker than mine above, and also longer. 100% custom made.

 

 

         
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Portugal hand-made straps

Deadcameras straps are handmade leather that fits with pride on many older Leica R and Leica M film cameras, as well as the digital Leica M.


The Shoulder Strap from deadcameras
"The Shoulder Strap"
is the self-confident name of this simple leather strap that comes in 85cm, 105cm or 115cm lengths - or special made.

 

 

Leica X strap on the Leica M

Surprisingly the $70 A La Carte straps for the Leica X series fits the Leica M well if you like clean strong colors as yellow, turquoise, red, orange and so on. They are not exactly long straps (110 cm), but they are fairly length that will work for most.

 

Leica M 246 Monochrom with Leica A La Carter X2 yellow leather strap
I managed to change the nylon strap into a flashy yellow strap from a Leica X2 A La Carte in the Leica Store Salzburg.

 

Bottega Veneta camera strap

Bottega Veneta is famous for their unique woven pattern in leather bags. S C Chiew from Singapore stumbled over a camera strap in one of their stores and bought it. No idea if it is available or it is a limited edition.


Bottega Veneta camera strap.
Bottega Veneta
camera strap.

 

 

Camera straps in leather and nylon

 

  Gordy's Camera Straps
  A bargain: Gordy's Camera Straps cost from $18 - $20 and are available in a number of colors and different ways to attach them on the camera. www.gordyscamerastraps.com
   

Artisan & Artist of Japan make quite a few in leather, cotton, silk and nylon, and their prices are about the same as the original Leica a la Carte program leather straps.

Though the A&A straps has more than just a metal ring in the end, they also have a small piece of leather as protection between the camera body and the metal ring.

One thing to take note of when looking for camera straps for the Leica M is the length. The standard length from A&A is 90 cm which is too short if the strap goes across the chest and over the (opposite) shoulder. Then the 105 cm edition which they offer for some of the types is better. But if you have a big body, not even the 105 cm will do the trick. Gordy and Annie Barton is the solution then.

I use the 105 cm A&A black leather strap with white stitching, the model ACAM 252. It's nice when used for a few weeks as it becomes very soft. The neck pad tends to move back and forth after some use, so either you develop a habit of adjusting it, or you sew it so it stays, or you simply remove it by cutting it off so that you just have a simple black leather strap. That's what I did.

The Leica M Monochrom leather strap is also very nice and simple - and long enough for most people. It is very stiff in the beginning, but after having been used for a while it gets soft and nice.

 

ACAM-250 and ACAM-252

Cutting off the shoulder pad is by the way something you can also do on the classic original Leica nylon strap that comes with the Leica M. It has a rubber neck/shoulder pad and the nylon strap is adjustable for small and large (human) bodies. It's a strap that does the job, made in a simple and compact design, and will last for many years. It takes a lot of weight.

 

 
  Limited Edition A&A half case for Leica M in Orange or Black currently available from Leitax.com
   

Artisan & Artist of Japan is sold in Europe by Monochrom in Germany, Red Dot Cameras in London and leitax.com in Spain. Popflashin the US sell and ship worldwide as well. A&A has a very big program so you might want to send an email to the dealer asking for certain A&A product numbers.

A great number of Asian dealers have A&A in stock (as it's a Japanese brand) though I'm not familiar with which exact shops.

A&A used to do bags and wallets for women, but the owner is a camera geek, so that is why they also do nice camera straps and bags.

 

Another brand in 95cm leather straps, camera halfcases, hand strap (attached via a bottom plate), bags and other is Korean CIESTA. Some of their halfcases look really nice, and their camera straps are usually thicker than the A&A straps.

Their range of leather goods seem to be quite large, covering Olympus Pen, Leica X1, Fuji X100, Panasonic cameras, Canon 5D and others. They also feature Fashion Straps for RF cameras in all sorts of materials and colors. It's quite easy to find their products in photo stores in Asia.

 

CIESTA rangefinder strap, made in Korea from Italian leather, and very economical. www.ciesta.co.kr.
CIESTA rangefinder strap, made in Korea from Italian leather, and very economical. www.ciesta.co.kr
.

 

The Louis Vuitton camera strap

It's not really a camera strap but simply the longest strap for a LV handbag, So you make it into a camera strap.

 

The Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas strap no J52315 is made into a camera strap by cutting off the brass in each end and replacing them with O-rings. Length is about 125 cm extended fully.
The Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas strap no J52315 is made into a camera strap by cutting off the brass in each end and replacing them with O-rings. Length is about 125 cm extended fully.

 

The Louis Vuitton camea strap on the Leica TL2.
The Louis Vuitton camea strap on the Leica TL2. The Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas strap no J52315. Louis Vuitton sell this strap for a women's bag on its own and you remove then the brass fittings and find some chrome rings as the ones you usually see on camera straps, size around 15 mm diameter. Cut off the brass buckles, put on the chrome rings. 5-10 minutes and you are all set. The length of the strap is 85 - 110 cm depending on how you adjust it.
You can get leather straps and other colors as well, but for the bling-bling look it has to be Monogram I think.

 

Leica black strap no 14453.
Leica black strap no 14453.

 

The original Leica a la Carte leather strap is about 98 cm long and without shoulder pad. They can be adjusted to a length of approximately 115 cm in steps of 2,5 centimeters. These come in leather in many colors from classic discrete black seattle leather (order no 14453) or black lizard look (order no 14465) over red (order no 14457) to cobalt blue (order no 14469). Most Leica Camera Flagship Stores have them in stock, so don't hesitate to ask even if you only see a few as part of the exhibition of the Leica a la Carte system. They are sold as any other assessory.

The very classic brown leather strap for Leica M4 which is about 65 cm long (so that the camera hangs on the chest) I don't know if still exist, but the principle was good and when over the shoulder the camera would be hidden under the bicep.

 

 

 

The Artisan and Artist E25R RED strap
Also this one, the Artisan and Artist E25R RED ($85) strap in acrylic material with leather parts (also available in white, black or khaki). It adjusts from 82 - 139 cm in length. Though it has more the soft feeling of cotton, according to the happy owner Dennis DeSilva who shot this picture of the strap. He got his for $75 from PopFlash in the US.

 

The Artisan and Artist E25R RED strap
The
Artisan and Artist E25R RED strap

 

The camera strap that might go for your modern Leica, but most definitely will work with any old film Leica, is the Nevada black leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Straps in Greece. It comes straight from the factory as if it had been through two world wars and dried for a few centuries under the sun in Nevada.
The camera strap that might go for your modern Leica, but most definitely will work with any old film Leica, is the Nevada black leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Straps in Greece. It comes straight from the factory as if it had been through two world wars and dried for a few centuries under the sun in Nevada.

 

Handmade leather straps from Fabien Barbazan

A true artis in Paris is Fabien Barbazan who does camera straps, custom-made bags for cameras, drumsticks, iPads and more.


Braided strap from Fabien Barbazan in Paris.

 

Custom designed strap from Fabien Barbazan
Custom designed strap from Fabien Barbazan

 

 

Also: Check my other articles on the Leica cameras:
Understanding Colors and White Balance in Photography
Leica M 246: Old School is the New School
  Leica Q Type 116 Hemingway
Leica Q: The Guide that answers any Q
     

 

 

 

Leather half-cases

Leica Camera AG has come out with some half cases (and full cases with magnetic locking mechanism) for the Leica M 240 and Leica M10, and there are plenty of models to choose from if one visit JnK Handworks (Korea), Luigi (Italy) and Angelo Pelle (Florence, Italy) ... and many others.

 

Tokyo Holster from Angelo Pelle (Florence, Italy)
Tokyo Holster from Angelo Pelle (Florence, Italy)

Nile Alligator half case and strap from JnK Handworks, Korea. Photo: S C Chiew, Singapore.
Nile Alligator half case and strap from JnK Handworks, Korea. Photo: S C Chiew, Singapore.

 


Interesting half-case for the Leica M60 with the ISO-dial on the back. From Paul Glendel of Classic Cases. Photo by: Alfred Corodi.

 

Luigi straps and half-cases from from Italy - Luigicases

If you really like leather, Luigi in Italy is the man. Formerly known as Leicatime. now simply Luigicases.com. Everything is handmade leather and custom made. He doesn't have the world's easiest website, and he may not work fast. But those who wait, say they love him.

Luigi also have quite an interesting collection of second-hand lenses and cameras

, as well as soft releases, as well as his bottom plates with easy access to the battery and SD-card.

 

Luigi in Italy is the man for leather straps, cases, special made bottom plates and rare lenses.
Luigi in Italy is the man for leather straps, cases, special made bottom plates and - sometims - a few rare lenses. The beautiful 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "Rigid" above is not super-rare, but beautiful (usually $500 - 1,800).

 

           
 

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Black Leica dot

As you may have seen, some change their red dot on the Leica M into a black one. The Leica red dot on the Leica M 240 is a different size (12 mm) than the one on previous Leica M9 and Leica ME bodies, so there is only one that fits. Black Leica Dot for Leica M 240 is available from Fotopia in Hong Kong for around $60

 

Black Leica Dot for Leica M 240 and Leica M10 is available from Fotopia in Hong Kong for around $60
Black Leica Dot for Leica M 240 and Leica M10 is available from Fotopia in Hong Kong for around $60


I got my black dot, but I haven't applied it. Maybe I never will, I like the original red dot. But the way to change it is to use a wooden toothpick of some sort to press the side of the red dot, and then stick a nail in on the other side when it lifts. Then put the black dot on.

Were to get black Leica dots? They are avilable from Fotopia in Hong Kong for around $60.

 

 

Black tape, toothpicks and (god forbid) black paint

Insulation tapeAnd speaking of custom made looks, let's touch on the habit some have of removing the Leica M lettering on the front with a wooden toothpick (which is quite easily done - and Leica can repaint it if you regret), or by adding black tape over the M white letter and/or the red Leica dot.

The proper black tape to use would be insulation tape (also known as electrical tape or PVC tape). Easy to mount, easy to remove without leaving glue.

Duct tape is very thick and has a different surface than insulation tape, and will leave more glue when removed - and sometimes take off the lettering as well when removed.

I've also seen cameras painted over with black paint or ink, and it just doesn't look pretty; because the paint will usually be another color and reflection than the camera body. Just not a great look even if it seems easy to do.

But please, don't.

 

No red dot (and no black dot either)

MG Productions in Hong Kong made these black metal plates that are painted black, as a replacement for the red dot. Visit their Facebook Page for more info, their website or send them an e-mail.

They also do camera wraps, lens shades, half cases, shutter speed testers for film cameras, lens caps in metal ... and more.

The black painted brass dot for Leica M10 from MG Production in Hong Kong. $10 including shipping.
The black painted brass dot for Leica M10 (and M9 and M240) from MG Production in Hong Kong. $10 including shipping.

 

 

Vax up that Leica

The black painted Leica models are rare. By using the camera a lot you can actually get parts of the black Leica M 240 and Leica M9 to shine pretty well. But here's a trick I learned in Asia recently when I asked if a glossy Leica M 240 was a special painted model: You can actually get the Leica M body to look like painted (glossy) by using car vax. I haven't tried yet, but it's a pretty good idea. (Send me a picture when you have done it).

Vaxing a Leica M body is same procedure as vaxing up a car, just smaller.
Vaxing a Leica M body is same procedure as vaxing up a car, just smaller.

 

Get a paint job

Kantocamera does cutomization of almost anything camera, and the more impossible you thought it was, the more likely it seems he already have done it a few times. I personally don't like when a lens is painted to look like a limited editoon (for example a black Summicron Rigid), but when it is personalized to something that simply does not exist anywhere else ... I get tempted!

Orange painted 50mm, 35mm and 28mm Summilux lenses from Kantocamera
Orange painted 50mm, 35mm and 28mm Summilux lenses from Kantocamera

 

Leica M6 in gold look. Not just a few things, but everything from shutter speed dial to leather and lens release button. Pretty cool, made by Kantocamera.
Leica M6 in gold look. Not just a few things, but everything from shutter speed dial to leather and lens release button. Pretty cool, made by Kantocamera.

 

 

Get yourself a nice print of your photographs

Manuel Gomes Teixeira is a Platinum Palladium printer who also does workshops in the art of a good print. Below is a print he made of me and my daughter Robin on 25g Kozo Paper.

 

A In 2014 Lawrence Wong did my workshop in Hong Kong and made a great photograph of my and my daughter Robin Isabella walking in the late afternoon. A year later he had Manuel Gomes Teixeira make a print as a gift for us.
A In 2014 Lawrence Wong did my workshop in Hong Kong and made a great photograph of my and my daughter Robin Isabella walking in the late afternoon. A year later he had Manuel Gomes Teixeira make a print as a gift for us.

 

Wooden handgrips


Wooden Hand Grip for Leica M 240
J. B. Camera Designs Wooden Hand Grip for Leica.

 

Real men don't need GPS

You know who you are, and where you are going. You don't need GPS. So a handmade, rustic Wooden Hand Grip or a Bamboo Hand Grip will be just what you want to rock the Leica M 240. J. B. Camera Designs make them and they look pretty cool when used for a while. Made in the USA and less than $100.

They also make them for the Leica Q and many other cameras.

 

Bamboo Hand Grip is less than $100 and ships from Amazon. Or for the Leica M10 from their website.
Bamboo Hand Grip is less than $100 and ships from Amazon. Or for the Leica M10 from their website.

 

 

Bling Bling

MARY FRANCES "SNAPSHOT" handbag
Bling-Bling: The MARY FRANCES "SNAPSHOT" $285 handbag is a fancy little bag and conversation piece that will hold the ND filter and an extra battery, plus the bare necessities. Made of Crocodile skin, pearls and diamonds. "Please love gently ... but wear with passion!" as the instruction manual says.

 

Leica tin camera

Why not expand the camera collection with this nice tin camera for coins, pens or candy? I found this one in Canada, but you can buy l them online for only $39 . You can take the top off and put stuff inside.

 

Vintage Visual Collection Leica replica tin camera from elitetins.com.
Vintage Visual Collection Leica M3 replica tin camera. Only $39
.

 

Rare Leica cameras that doesn't take pictures

I got this rare Leica camera of porcelain from Milano, New Old Camera. They had a few made in black and white for their anniversary by Artistic Pottery (handmade in Faenza).

Leica porcelain camera by Artistic Pottery (handmade in Faenza).
Leica porcelain camera by Artistic Pottery (handmade in Faenza).

 

Small leather Leica keyring
Small leather Leica keyring or attachment, handmade in Japan. Available for approximately $25 on eBay. Designed by Shigeo Tanaka.



         
 

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Oddly, one of the products that have brought me the most happiness buying in recent years, other than Leica lenses, is the Eizo CG277 screen ($2,500). It's the closest I get to looking at a print of my photos.

I used to have two 30" Apple screens, but they got outdated and I decided to keep my 15" screen on the laptop calibrated and simply use that. As I'm on the road most of the time, that made more sense. But ... I still fancied the idea of having a large editing screen and read one review after the other to find one. None of the reviews seemed to address the use of a screen for still photo editing. They all talked about gaming, video editing and Microsoft spreadsheet.

Finally, I decided to go to the de-facto color screens that had been known to the graphic industry for the last 30 years as the standard. Despite the seemingly old-school look of them (heavy and not exactly streamlined design) and the recent developments in screen quality across all brands, Eizo is the Formel 1 of screens.

 

Annie Leibovitz with her photo editor with their three Eizo screens; and then Annie also checks how it will look on an iPhone to establish what the best look will be. From the Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography Masterclass ($199 on masterclass.com). It's very interesting to see how Annie works. She has a nerd that operates the computer while she sits next to and directs what she wants.
Annie Leibovitz with her photo editor with their three Eizo screens; and then Annie also checks how it will look on an iPhone to establish what the best look will be. From the Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography Masterclass ($199 on masterclass.com). It's very interesting to see how Annie works. She has a nerd that operates the computer while she sits next to and directs what she wants.

 

While there may be great screens out there that are a great deal, finding them is not easy. Who has the time to go through screens to find a great one? I simply ordered an EIZO CG277, knowing that next time I upgrade to a newer model, a new Eizo will be Eizo.

What is brilliant about a high-quality calibrated screen is that you trust what you see. This is quite essential if you are to make decisions in editing. The more you can trust what you see, the faster and more confidently you can work. This would be the reason to get a high-quality screen of any brand, or to decide to go with your laptop screen once calibrated.

Now, what makes me so happy about the Eizo screens is how sturdy and no-nonsense they are built. Looking at the screen itself is very calming. It's a matte, completely distraction-free frame and with a shade that focuses the eyes. Further, as the icing on the cake, the screen is adjusted up and down, tilted forward-backwards and horizontally by simply moving it. No adjusting with screws, it's all so well-balanced it simply stays where you move it to. Damn, that's sexy!


The Eizo screens have no flickr and non-glare displays, which gives less eye fatigue. You can even get a RadiLight to give a pleasant 6400 Kelvin background light behind the screen for better comfort (if you edit in a dark room and/or want no warmer or flickering light around you).
The Eizo screens have no flickr and non-glare displays, which gives less eye fatigue. You can even get a RadiLight to give a pleasant 6400 Kelvin background light behind the screen for better comfort (if you edit in a dark room and/or want no warmer or flickering light around you).

 

The Eizo CG277 screen ($2,500) also has built-in calibration. I used to travel with an external calibration-device for my screens, and it has always annoyed me how different my results were. On the Eizo, you press a button and the screen calibrates itself (a little arm comes up from the bottom of the frame) in a few minutes.

If you asked me if you should buy a new lens or an Eizo screen, I would say Eizo screen. Tired of editing and looking at screens as I am, the Eizo brings new joy to editing. I truly enjoy working in front of that screen. So much, in fact, I bought a Tenba case ($655) so I can take it with me on an airplane (and one more screen in fact when TSA broke my first Eizo and I decided I couldn't live without an Eizo while it got repaired). You would think you can transport the screen in the cardboard box it comes in, but it doesn't last more than a couple of flights. The Tenba case is good for transportation and storage.

When looking at Eizo screens to get, some are made for scientists, some for graphic design, and so on. The only ones you look at for still photography editing are the ColorEdge models. Don't go FlexScreen or any other models.


Checking that my two Eizo 27" screens match exactly in calibration (and they did) before sending off one of them for another location in the Tenba case to the right of the table.
Checking that my two Eizo 27" screens matched exactly in calibration (and they did) before sending one of them off for another location in the Tenba case standing on the right of the table.

 

 

Here, My Dear

Berlin-based jewelry designer Florian Huhoff designed this Leica M3 ring for a friend, who requested one more for his friend ... and if he didn't know before, Florian must have realized real love has no boundaries. We all want one to symbolize real love and an important relationship. Price is around 190 Euros, and made for women and men, after measurements.

 

The beautiful Leica M3 ring made by jewelry designer Florian Huhoff, Berlin.
The beautiful Leica M3 ring made by jewelry designer Florian Huhoff, Berlin.

 

The Leica Guy (Matthew B. Harrison) got married and the whole wedding and honeymoon had a clear Leica theme down to the two Noctilux rings. The ring was commissioned and made by jeweler Gaelen in British Columbia, Canada.
The Leica Guy
(Matthew B. Harrison) got married and the whole wedding and honeymoon had a clear Leica theme down to the two Noctilux rings. The ring was commissioned and made by jeweler Gaelen in British Columbia, Canada.

 

  TAAB developed by Angelo Fernandes
  TAAB comes in three sizes

 

Add a focus tab

Often you can get Leica Camera AG to (remove) or add a focus tab on most lenses.

But you can also choose the easy and flexible way with the rubber tab TAAB from USA that is sold from their website LENSTAB.COM or a number of dealers in UK (afshoot.com and Red Dot Cameras), Hong Kong (Camera Film Photo), Netherlands (CameraTools), Indonesia (JKLENSA) and Japan (Ideamix). It comes in different sizes from Noctilux to small lenses. I applied the medium size to my 75/1.4 and 90/2 and the large one to my Noctilux.

 

The TAAB on my Noctilux and the mini for 35mm and similar lenses on the table. It comes in a nice metal can. The TAAB can become addictive and have some advantages I think. But it is also a different material than what the lens and camera usually is made of. Try it and decide for yourself. The camera strap is the Rock'n'Roll Chain black leather strap from Tie Her Up in Greece. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.
The TAAB on my Noctilux and the mini for 35mm and similar lenses on the table. It comes in a nice metal can. The TAAB can become addictive and have some advantages I think. But it is also a different material than what the lens and camera usually is made of. Try it and decide for yourself. The camera strap is the Rock'n'Roll Chain black leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps in Greece. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

  Soft release from Tsujimurasan
  A soft-release from Tsujimurasan in Tokyo, in the range of $200

Leica and Japanese artistry

Now, this is something quite different! In Tokyo, Japan Mr. Jay Tsujimura is the artist who creates these very unique pieces for your Leica. A soft-release button as well as a beautiful piece to cover the hot shoe.

Needless to say, Tsujimurasan is a fan of Leica cameras. I cannot help imagining if he would re-create a complete Leica M body...!

www.shopjay.com

 

The soft release button from Jay Tsujimura is in the area of $230 and the hot shoe cover is in the range of $450-$500.
The soft release button from Jay Tsujimura is in the area of $230 and the hot shoe cover is in the range of $450-$500.

 

The soft release button from Jay Tsujimura is in the area of $230 and the hot shoe cover is in the range of $450-$500.
The soft release button from Jay Tsujimura is in the area of $230 and the hot shoe cover is in the range of $450-$500.


His newest creation is this 18K gold Sakura Soft Release, Golden Floral Emblems of Japan.
His newest creation is this 18K gold Sakura Soft Release, Golden Floral Emblems of Japan.

 

 

Sterling silver soft release buttons for Leica and other camera, from Bashert and LeiacRumors.
Sterling silver soft release buttons for Leica and other camera, from Bashert and LeicaRumors.

 

 

Bashert Jewelry and LeicaRumors Soft Release for Leica

Bashert Jewelry is a small designer jewelry e-boutique located in Florida, and LeicaRumors (also in Florida) have developed a new set of sterling silver soft release buttons for Leica and other cameras, Made in the USA.

Sterling silver soft release buttons for Leica and other camera, from Bashert and LeiacRumors.
Sterling silver soft release buttons for Leica and other camera, from Bashert and LeicaRumors.

 

The soft personal touch - Soft Release Buttons

Soft buttons exist for all Leica M cameras, and some can even be used on other cameras as well. The idea is generally that the different surface allows you to press the shutter more softly. And it does really work for some people, and for some it doesn't. It's just one of those things some like, others don't.

 

KOMARU Titanium Soft Release
I am not a soft release type of person. The only soft release I liked myself is the KOMARU Titanium Soft Release, but then it fell off after a day because I didn't stick it on properly. That soft release has a really nice feel and goes very well with the silver Leica M.

 

The soft release buttons exist in many colors so as to satisfy any personal taste, and as they cost very little, one might stock up different ones so as to be able to change into something more fashionable. Like cufflinks, it doesn't have to be the same every day.

Check the types from www.rapidwinder.com and www.matchtechnical.com

 

soft button release for Leica M
This one is either a flower power edition of the soft button release, or it's the artist edition. In any case you never feel alone with those friendly eyes staring up on you! It's different and could probably work wonders for the children photographer to familiarize the children with the camera. Photo courtesy of Birgit Krippner who also supplied the red wig under her Leica for this photo (no, it's not a shag carpet).

 


Here's three types of the smaller soft buttons, originally made for the Leica M3, and as can be seen, much smaller than most of the current available soft buttons. This is a chrome that goes well with the chrome shutter release of the Leica M9, a non-glossy black, and a glossy black that is a tiny bit more glossy than the Leica M9 in black. A glossy chrome also exists.

 

 

Goyard Filter Holder (for us who don't have coins)

It's a coin wallet for some people. For others it's a sexy filter holder that holds two filters 62mm or smaller. Small luxuriant genius in the range of $300.

 

The Goyard coin wallet in leather and canvas holds two filters. In this photo a 60mm and a 39mm filter occupy the two compartments. One of the compartments is yellow inside.
The Goyard coin wallet in leather and canvas holds two filters. In this photo a 60mm and a 39mm filter occupy the two compartments. One of the compartments is yellow inside.

 

Compact fashion and style, handmade in Paris in the 100+ year tradition of travel gear that lasts a few generations. It comes in black, green and a few other colors, price around $300.
Compact fashion and style, handmade in Paris in the 100+ year tradition of travel gear that lasts a few generations.
It comes in black, green and a few other colors, price around $300.

 

Special filters

You can get color filters to work with black & white, but check out the TIFFEN filters. I got some different filters from them to sex up my life recently, and they are fun working with. Go look what is available of special filters for mist, stars and other special effects. It's fun, especially when you can preview the results with live view.

 

I used the TIFFEN "PRO-MIST 1" for this candle-light shot of actor Jason Dohring recently. The whole scene is lit by candlelights only. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
I used the TIFFEN "PRO-MIST 1" for this candle-light shot of actor Jason Dohring recently. The whole scene is lit by candlelights only. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome. © 2016-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Another play with a filter handheld in front of the lens (to ge tthe reflections). The TIFFEN "PRO-MIST 1" adds softness to the overall picture. It reminds me of the fun I had when I was a teenager shooting film. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Another play with a filter handheld in front of the lens (to ge tthe reflections). The TIFFEN "PRO-MIST 1" adds softness to the overall picture. It reminds me of the fun I had when I was a teenager shooting film. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 Black Chrome. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Leather Pouches for the camera

Rock'n'Roll Straps and Bags makes leather pouches for lenses and cameras. So far a red and a black one.

 

The leather puches from Tie Her Up for camera body or lens - some times you may fit a camera with a lens into it as well.
The leather puches from Rock'n'Roll Straps and Bags for camera body or lens - some times you may fit a camera with a lens into it as well.

 

Camera clutches/pouches for deoration or protection

Leica M 246 with Leica X yellow leather strap and Issey Miyake "Bao Bao" camera clutch. The BaoBao are funky, hard to get and limited editions come and go.
Leica M 246 with Leica X yellow leather strap and Issey Miyake "Bao Bao" camera clutch. The BaoBao are funky, hard to get and limited editions come and go.

 

Clutches for fun

My new pet project is Moynat in Paris. I have their clutch that I use for letter-size papers, and I also have a smaller one I use for camera acessories like SD-cards, cleaning equipment, etc. Their products are fairly limited in that they make a series, and then when it's sold out, it's not available again.

My Moynat leather clutch for letter-sized and A4 papers. It's from a Brigitte Bardot limited sesries.
My Moynat leather clutch for letter-sized and A4 papers. It's from a Brigitte Bardot limited series.

 

The Moynat leather is not painted but made of cut-out pieces of leather, fit into cut-outs of the underlying leather.
The Moynat leather is not painted but made of cut-out pieces of leather, glued into cut-outs on the underlying leather.

 

Patina

The first little scratch in your new Leica is the worst. Then it goes fast. As soon as there is a little scratch in the edge of the camera, the edge will start peeling off if you carry the camera most of the time. So many admire a brassed Leica, and yet many protect their camera as if it was one they had borrowed from the Leica Store.

 


Let it go. Patina is beautiful. Also for leather, as in this beaten-up well used vintage Hermes bag I stumbled over in Los Angeles (the Leica M9 camera in the picture is not mine but the one of Matt Jacobson).

 

 

VIP Leica Breakfast

A friend sent me this picture of his breakfast. Now, that is quite a VIP statement. I happen to visit the same hotel, so next time I come around they will have to come up with a bigger apple ... or a water melon!

Small leather Leica keyring
VIP breakfast for a guest (not me) at a proper hotel where the restaurant chef evidently knows what really goes on in the persons dreams ...

 

One more Leica ...

The Leica Q that was released in June 2015 is a quite interesting camera I have used quite a bit and written an extensive article about here: "To be, or not to be, that is the Q". It is also a camera I have fun borrowing out to people. When I did photographs in a kindergarten in Copenhagen, I had the kids take photos of each other.

It's not easy to get hold of ... one more reason to want one.

 

Leica Q
The kids in a Copenhagen kindergarten had fairly good success with the 1-Point AF on the Leica Q, and in any case thought it was great fun using it. © 2015-2018- Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

Reskin the Leica

There are many possibilities for new leahter covering on the Leica. I've never had one done personally, but I like the ones I see, as long as the cutting and mounting has been doone very precisely. Nothing worse than a leather that hasn't been cut precisely, or mounting so it overlaps.

I would recommend having the leather mounted for you by soneone who knows how to do things like that. Soem times, if you are lucky, you hand your Leica into Wetzlar with a cut-out leather, and they will mount it for you.

 

Alligator reskin of a Leica M10 by Arte di Mano in Seoul.
Alligator reskin of a Leica M10 by Arte di Mano in Seoul.

 

Blue reskin of a Leica M240 by Arte di Mano in Seoul.
Blue reskin of a Leica M240 by Arte di Mano in Seoul.

 

Leather for your Leica M

Leica offer "a la carte" leather for their cameras, and usually Leica Stores have a selectrion of leather samples to choose from.

Another way is to order a leather for the Leica M from Camera Leather. They may not win the price for best designed website, but their leather is made very precise and is economical. The website cameraleather.com will advise as to which leather, and how to mount it.

Having seen a few home-mounted leather pieces, I would recommend doing what Birgit Krippner did, which was ordering Griptac Medium Grey leather from Camera Leather directly, and then visiting Leica Customer Service in Wetzlar to have them mount it. Very precise cut, and very precise mounting.

 


Umo Amy Ratanadilokcha
i in Bangkok, Thailand had his Leica M 240 made with this beautiful leather covering. Well, when I say beautiful, I know it's going to be fifty-fifty who loves it and who would never do such a thing to their camera. But I think it is yummy. The leather is fairly economical ($60) and is made with Aki-Asahi custom covering at AV Camera in Bangkok, a small camera store that is as busy as Central Station most time of the day - and always has many great Leica offerings.

If done by the AV Camera store in Bangkok the price is about $100 and takes three hours.

 


Umo Amy Ratanadilokchai is a colorful person, as you can tell by this photo. He was also the fist one - as far as I know - who got a Louis Vuitton camera strap. He was the one that taught me how to get it.



Matching bag and strap: Umo Amy Ratanadilokchai's red Leica M 240 with matching "Yin Yang" Anni Barton strap and the limited edition orange Billingham bag (that is blue inside).

 

Jon in Vancouver have had some of his cameras fitted with leather. This Leica IIIf with "Camel" orange leather from aki-asahi makes me a little envy ... They also make leather for the Leica M 240.

 

The Leica M-P 240 Safari with Leica 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar f/4.0 lens. The strap on the camera is Luigi's Custom Ostrich Leather and usuall comes with a half-case as well. The above photo is from the article "Traveling through ice landscapes with the Leica M-P 240"
The Leica M-P 240 Safari with Leica 16-18-21mm Tri-Elmar f/4.0 lens. The strap on the camera is Luigi's Custom Ostrich Leather and usuall comes with a half-case as well. The above photo is from the article "Traveling through ice landscapes with the Leica M-P 240"

 

The black leather Rock'n'Roll Chain camera strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps on the Leica M 240.
The black leather Rock'n'Roll Chain camera strap from Rock'n'Roll Camera Straps on the Leica M 240.

 

Ventilated lens shades

I'm a big fan of ventilated lens shades. It's not that I'm that concerned about light entering the lens from the side and softening the image (which is the original reason for lens shades), but I like lens shades for protecting the lens glass against bumping into things.

But overall, I prefer the classic look of a beautiful (beaten up, preferably) ventilated lens shade in the style they were designed in the golden age of rangefinder cameras. The only other reason to use a ventilated shade is that you can "see through" the shade when using it on a rangefinder. That's the idea of "ventilated" shade. It shades for the light from the sides but is "see-through" from the viewfinder.

When Leica Camera AG started supplying ther square metal hoods with their lenses, I decided I wanted to make some ventilated shades for myself. I did, and people started asking where they could get them. So that made me start producing them, and soon I made them available in most sizes for most Leica lenses.

 

A very short review from Joeri van der Kloet on the ventilated shade designed by Thorsten von Overgaard for the current Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
A very short review from Joeri van der Kloet on the ventilated shade designed by Thorsten von Overgaard for the current Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

As the Thorsten Overgaard designed ventilated lens shades are somewhat a fashion statement, apart from the fact that they work as bumpers for the precious glass, we started making RED ventilated shades, as well as the latest Raw Brass - and more versions to come.

 

New special edition lens shade in raw unpolished brass. Ships worldwide.
New special edition lens shade in raw unpolished brass. Ships worldwide.

 

Now, this a man that loves my RED ventilated shades. Mr.  endlesskys with no ness than three of my RED ventilated shades on his Leica SL, Leica Q and Leica M10.
Now, this a man that loves my RED ventilated shades. Mr.  endlesskys with no ness than three of my RED ventilated shades on his Leica SL, Leica Q and Leica M10.

 

 


Here is Birgit Krippner's Leica M240 with the same type of Griptac Medium Grey as she had applied to her Leica M9. Note the sexy lens shade on the 28mm Summicron lens that I talk about below:

 

The sexy Leica shade for the 35mm Summilux and 28mm Elmarit

  Leica lens hood 12 466
  Leica lens hood 12 466 for the 1994-2010 35mm Summilux-M ASPH
   

Don't ask why, but in 2011 Leica designed this mother of all lens shades for the older Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 just as they had introduced the new 35mm FLE (FLoating Elements). It's a 350 Euro lens shade, and the good thing is that it also fits the 28mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 [11604] and the 28mm Elmarit-M f/2.8 [11809] as well.

It's the sort of thing everybody thinks is overpriced, yet love when they have gotten it. In all fairness it's not just a piece of metal but does have some moving mechanical parts inside enabling it to be mounted as a clip-on shade.

And to justify the purchase further, an old half-beaten-up ventilated lens shade for the 50mm or 35mm lens from the 60's easily runs up in $200.

 

Leica lens hood 12 466
Leica lens hood 12 466 on the 1994-2010 35mm Summilux-M ASPH edition. Leica M9-P silver and Gordy's Camera Straps.

 

Leica 12504 crome lens shade
Speaking of lens shades: Even the widely available (and good) Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 can be made into a sexy looking lens with the original Leica 12 504 ventilated lens shade. It can be found in black, whereas in chrome as the above you will have to look in every corner of many camera stores. As Malou Lasquite from Switzerland did to acquire this one for her chrome Leica M9-P and matching chrome lens.

 


My Leica M10 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE and the ventilated lens shade. The ventilated lens shade goes on the outside screw of the lens, leaving the filter screw for filters. You can buy the lens shade in Black Paint on this page.

 

When all options has been exhausted

You have bought just about every acessory for your Leica, but not this one. The first step of building your own Leica cathedral is this magnificent glass piece.

 

A friend had some made for himself and a few others. It hangs in my window in Denmark.
A friend had some made for himself and a few others. It hangs in my window in Denmark and is quite heavy, about 40 x 30 cm.

 

 

"Thumbie" and "Thumbs Up" for Leica M10

Thumbs Up from Match Technical is used on approximately 20% of the Leica M cameras I have ever seen. On the Leica M10 there is a small thumb rest on the camera body already.

If the Thumbs Up is mounted on the Leica M10, there goes the hotshoe that you would use for the EVF.

 

Thumbs Up EP-10S for Leica M 240 in Silver
Thumbs Up EP-10S comes in chrome and black and is attached to the flash shoe. If you don't plan to use the hot-shoe, it is also a stylish cover. A good all-in-one solution instead of the plastic cover the camera comes with, of the flash shoe and HDMI plug below the flash shoe. (In this picture you also see the handgrip of the original Leica Handgrip M and the Finger Loop).

 

 

The Walter M-Stedi

The Walter M-Stedi
Another way to make the camera camera steadier is The Walter M-Stedi. A very simple attachment to the camera that supports it .

 

Leather straps with love from Turkey

The nylon strap from Sunlows in Turkey is the most leight-weight strap I have and fits the Leica Q perfectly. The length is perfect 125-130 cm for me whereas the Leica Q stap the camera comes with is nice and simple, but too short.

sunlows nylon camera strap for Leica
Sunlows is a new brand made in Turkey, a merge of love for handcraft and photgoraphy. They come in different colors and lengths, as well as hand-straps.

 

 

Camera Bags for the Leica

There can be several reasons to choose a discrete dark bag that doesn't look like a camera bag. But there is also something about a really nice bag that is very personal and has some history and tradition to it.

 

Camera bag nirvana ... Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag, Hermès Barda and Louis Vuitton Neverfull taking rest on a bench.
Camera bag nirvana ... Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag, Hermès Barda and Louis Vuitton Neverfull taking rest on a bench.

 

Walkabout camera bags

More often than not I simply have a camera over the shoulder and nothing more when I walk about a city. But I also have walkabout bags I sometimes use. In there goes batteries, water, lightmeter, extra lens, scarf and other things that are nice to have with you.

My favorite for a long time has been the Goyard Sac Grand Bleu MM bag that they unfortunately ceased to produce. It's light in weight, and it has a size so it folds soft around the body. It there is few items in it, it weights noghting. If I need to, I can stack a computer and an extra camera in it.

The secret with walkabout bags is the shape of them. You can bring an empty, large bag, and it will drain you. It's not the weight but the way the bag sits on the body.

 

Goyard Ambassade photo bag My Goyard Sac Grand Bleu MM bag that is light and is a small bag, which means that you basically don't feel it (different size bags will feel differently even though the weight of the content is the same). When it has to, it fits reflector, lightmeter, filters, batteries, cigarettes, telephone, notebook, scarf, jumper/jacket and even an extra lens or two. The Goyard is very similar to Louis Vuitton in origin of the brand, materials and handmade quality, only Goyard bags and suitcases are sold in stores only in Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco. And Goyard is older by 1 year. You can see what I pack in the Japancamerahunter.com "In Your Bag"

 

Another walkabout bag is my Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag. It's very limited edition from the 2012 runway show that would fit a pair of binoculars, but have never seen any binoculars. For me it fits the small things, and some times a bit more than that. You can read what I use it for on Japan Camera Hunter's blog. It doesn't like rain or snow, so I don't use it that often.

 

In Your Bag No: 676 - Thorsten von Overgaard
My Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag is a very special bag they made for the runway show in 2012. Not for binoculars though. I got it the day before my first exhibition and on my birthday in 2012, so it has a special meaning. It is calfskin leather, not very practical if it rains a lot (but that’s too late now!). Click on the photo to read what's in it.

 

Arte di Mano Heritage Camera Bag in Barenia Tan is a $999 bag from Leica Store Miami.
Arte di Mano Heritage Camera Bag in Barenia Tan is a $999 bag from Leica Store Miami.

 


I got this photo by email, a familiar kit with Louis Vuitton camera strap and matching Louis Vuitton bag
.

 

The "dothebag" series from Monochrom in Münich and Berlin

Continuing the "German industrial design" of Leica cameras and lenses over to the bag, with a touch of casual leather, one would look at the "dothebag" series from German Monochrom that usually specializes in selling photo paper, color calibrated screens, light meters and other accessories for photography. Their "dothebag" series has really taken off and is now available in all sizes from the smallest "mono 06" (27x18x15 cm, 269 €) to the largest "mono 11" (43x31x18 cm, 359 €). All available in brown leather or black leather. Only concern is the adjustment mechanism on the shoulder strap. So check that it won't be on top of your shoulder because that is going to hurt.
They also do a black Tankbag of nylon (with sparkling red inner foam) (34x11x25 cm) for around 250 €.
See more at www.monochrom.com

monochrom dothebag mono_08
The "dothebag" comes in brown or black, and in many different sizes for large dSLR kit and laptop to small M cases. The new "mono 08" is a 404 € bag 37x30x16 cm that fits a laptop, camera and lenses.

 

ARTISAN & ARTIST WCAM-500N in latex black or chrome grey
Another trendy bag is the compact (17x16x9 cm) WCAM-500N bag that comes with a big logo on the shoulder pad and in glossy black or bright chrome grey!

wcam-500N

 

 


I decided for this white leather with black edges to make it a kind of classic Chanel look. The Saker camera bag from the Frankie Falcon workshop in the Lancashire valleys, UK comes in leather or canvas and in many colors from conservative green canvas over posh sand-colored leather, to pink and white leather. Several sizes to choose from, for the country and town.

 


The Frankie Falcon camera bags comes with nice inside and soft departments for the cameras (can be taken out so it is a normal soft bag with nice interior).

 

Louis Vuitton Nomade Binocular Case (21 x 21 x 9 cm) of cowhide leather outside and calf leather inside for a Leica M body and two lenses was a limited edition for the Spring-Summer 2012 collection (model M80000) - and also made in a $50,000 crocodile edition.
Louis Vuitton Nomade Binocular Case (21 x 21 x 9 cm) of cowhide leather outside and calf leather inside for a Leica M body and two lenses was a limited edition for the Spring-Summer 2012 collection (model M80000) for $3,900 - and also made in a $50,000 crocodile edition.

 

Exclusive camera bags for life

Louis Vuitton has a history of adventurous travelling in style, as well as a brand value that goes well with Leica. If you notice, most new Leica Camera Stores can be found in the same area as the Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Apple Stores.

The consideration when you spend money on a bag is of course if it is worth it. If it gives you a kick, it probably is, and it is for your pleasure and for your money anyways, so you don't really have to ask anyone but yourself. But the art of cause is to find the gems that will become classics and which you may pass on to your kids. The things that never lose value but stand out as historic pieces with patina. It's not easy but worth a try.

 

Hermes Alfred bag (35 x 29 x 12 cm $6,400) with a Billingham Hadley Pro insert. A bag with the price tag almost the same as a Leica M body. If you like Hermes, also check out the Steve model which has a lot of space (35 x 26 x 10 cm, $7,750), or the smaller Hermes Steve Coporal bag .
Hermes Alfred bag (35 x 29 x 12 cm $6,400) with a Billingham Hadley Pro insert. A bag with the price tag almost the same as a Leica M body. If you like Hermes, also check out the Steve model which has a lot of space (35 x 26 x 10 cm, $7,750), or the smaller Hermes Steve Coporal bag .

 

Joy Villa in Cuba. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Joy Villa in Cuba. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Speaking of Hermes and Leica

Hermes is not a far-fetched idea for a camera bag for the Leica. There are several limited editions of Leica in Hermes leather. Leica Camera in Japan is still part owned by Hermes, so that explains why there have been so many Hermes editions of Leica cameras. Besides that they are pretty cool.

 

The Leica M7 film camera in a limited orange Hermes edition to die for.
The Leica M7 film camera in a limited orange Hermes edition to die for. Second-hand prices are around $18,000 (with the lens).

 

The Leica M9 digital Hermes edition (2011) with three limited edition lenses as well (with Hermes-orange engravings). This set comes with a Hermes bag and is hard to get ($50,000 from new). Another version of this with one lens (and no bag) is a little easier to get hold of, becuase it 's less rare - except that you seldom see any of them for sale. The barrel design of the lenses is unique for this edition, and so is the design of the camera body.
The Leica M9 digital Hermes edition (2011) with three limited edition lenses as well (28/50/90) with Hermes-orange engravings). This set comes with a Hermes canvas/leather bag and is hard to get ($50,000 from new). Another version of this with one 50mm/1.4 lens (and no bag) is a little easier to get hold of, becuase it 's less rare - except that you seldom see any of them for sale. The barrel design of the lenses is unique for this edition, and so is the design of the camera body.

 

Camera travel bags

When I travel from one place to another, I use a larger camera bag. It stays in a room or a car and serves as the place I have my gear. It holds reflector, lightmeter, batteries, chargers, four lenses and 2-4 camera bodies. As such, the concern is not how it hangs over the shoulder when I am out and about, because this type of bag never goes out and about. The condern is the size, that if fits a Billingham Pro insert, and how it works going through airports with it. Shoulder strap is nice, but mostly the bag is too heavy having on the shoulder through security and walking through an airport. But if you absolutely have to carry more than two hands hold, a shoulder strap is nice to have. But mainly, I use the handles.


The Italian GUCCI camera bag (2014), aka the leather duffle travel bag in Bright Diamante yellow color. A perfect travel bag with a Billingham insert for the camera, lenses and accessories such as hard drives, lightmeter, batteries, etc. Larger than the Louis Vuitton iCare and the Goyard Ambassade, yet it looks quite compact. $1,850 with shoulder strap in matching yellow leather (model 353394 AIZ1G 7011) and also comes in blue, red and black.
Not an avid fan of Gucci, but the color and that my daughter said, "Buy it!" had me going. The Italian GUCCI camera bag (2014), aka the leather duffle travel bag in Bright Diamante yellow color. A perfect travel bag with a Billingham insert for the camera, lenses and accessories such as hard drives, lightmeter, batteries, etc. It is larger than the Louis Vuitton iCare and the Goyard Ambassade, yet it looks quite compact and classic. $1,850 with shoulder strap in matching yellow leather (model 353394 AIZ1G 7011) and also comes in blue, red and black.

 

 

 

 

British leather bag for the Leica M


1901 fotografi in Bath, England makes wrist straps, camera protection pads, shoulder straps and camera bags for rangefinder photographers.

Here's their classic style leather bag.

The 1901 Photographers 'RF fotoSatchel' from1901 fotografi in UK comes in Classic Black or brown. Price is around $400.00.
The 1901 Photographers 'RF fotoSatchel' from1901 fotografi in UK comes in Classic Black or brown. Price is around $400.00.

 

iCare Damier Graphite
The Louis Vuitton "iCare Damier Graphite" large business bag made into a camera travel bag in 2011 (Item No N23253 in black, brown or monogram, 39 x 29 x 15 cm, now with a full-side zip pocket as model N40007). You can fit an Artisan & Artist insert in red into it, or a Billingham Hadley Pro insert in green (35 x 25 x 12 cm). I prefer the Billingham because that acts as a case in itself where you can simply take the whole insert with gear and move from one bag to the other.
Fits a 15" MacBook Pro as well as front pocket for charger, batteries, filters, etc. See more at "In Your Bag 675 - Thorsten Overgaard" (Louis Vuitton iCare and Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents-Voyage in Fusion Orange)

 


Louis Vuitton used to make a dedicated camera bag, the SAC CAMERA DAMIER-GRAPHITE N58027 (22 x 39 x 22 cm). Hard to find now, and perhaps too big. It's made for dSLR obviously, not for Leica M. But for storage or transportation of a good collection of lenses, cameras and all the odd bits it might be good. I've seen one used for the Leica S which makes sense, and then I have worked with one person who had a "camera bag caddie" carrying this bag - which also made sense.

 

You may consider a caddie for your Louis Vuitton camera bag...
You may consider a caddie for your Louis Vuitton camera bag...

 

School Bag as Camera Bag

The Last Bag in Copenhagen, aka designer Piet Breinholm makes some really cool leather school bags. I've had a few of them.

Classic Small school bag in natural leather from Piet Breinholm. The natural leather is sort of a special edition. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.
Classic Small school bag in natural leather from Piet Breinholm. The natural leather is sort of a special edition. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The Aspekts Small School Bag

I had this Small Aspekts School Bag for my Leica Digilux 2, and I liked that it was small and also works as a backpack. They noe makes a Medium and a Large as well.

The Small Aspekts School Bag. © 2007-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Small Aspekts School Bag. © 2007-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Photo bags for Leica

In a tiny atelier lost in the depths of France sits Nigel and Bee and makes some facinating bags. Their most popular for Leica users is the B-Like but they do a lot. See more at: www.foggspecialistbags.com.

B-Laïka in 'Holy-Smoke’ fabric with Havana leather.
B-Laïka in 'Holy-Smoke’ fabric with Havana leather.

 


Goyard Ambassade camera bag by Thorsten Overgaard
Goyard Ambassade
is perfect as camera bag for the Leica M with three inside pockets and one outside pocket. I've added the Billingham insert that leave space for chargers and hard drives in the ends and reflector on the side. It's made to last a generation of three, and the shoulder strap is the wide type for carrying and not just decoration. The most economical place to buy Goyard is in the Paris store, and if you are from outside Europe, you get the VAT back in the airport when you fly home. The Goyard stores in USA and Asia are usually more expensive. This one is the most classic outfit but you can also get it in yellow, red, green, blue, white, or the same pattern as this one, but with black leather instead of cognac leather.

There is usually a waiting time of about 2-3 months for some of the bags. I ordered and paid for this one in May and picked it up in October. Twice the joy. The camera strap is the Rock'n'Roll Chain black leather strap from Rock'n'Roll Straps in Greece.

 

Louis Vuitton Monogram backpack

I've looked at this a few times but haven't bought one. I really like it, and the side pockets will even fit a lens or two each; and it has the nice inside pockets for passport, business cards, chewing gum and all those small things. My main concern is actually that I have so much Monogram already ... I really want to mix it up and not have everything be the same. Price is $2,700.

 

Louis Vuitton Monogram backpack as camera bag for Leica M10 and more ...
Louis Vuitton Monogram backpack as camera bag for Leica M10 and more ...

 

 

Made in Detroit, USA

Inspired by the smart silhouette of vintage camera bags, this Top-Zip Messenger from Shinola makes a great camera bag or briefcase. It comes in brown or black with silver tone hardware and a cotton lined-interior. Adjustable cotton webbing shoulder strap. Price around $950 from Shinola.

 

Top-Zip Messenger from Shinola, Detroit
Top-Zip Messenger from Shinolacomes in brown or black.

 

 

The old-school sports bag

The less expensive PUMA gym bag made into a camerabag for travel. With a Billingham insert for the camera, lenses and accessories such as hard drives, lightmeter, batteries, etc. you are set for under $100. Same size as the Gucci bag above. The one in the photo is a limited edition, but they keep coming with new editions every year.
The less expensive PUMA gym bag made into a camerabag for travel. With a Billingham insert for the camera, lenses and accessories such as hard drives, lightmeter, batteries, etc. you are set for under $100. Same size as the Gucci bag above. The one in the photo is a limited edition, but they keep coming with new editions every year.

 


The Leica System Case by ANEAS, Medium size in brown leather. Really nice quality inside and outside, fits a body with lens and 2-4 other lenses. A department in the bottom leave space for batteries, chargers and more. An outside pocket on the back for a book or magazine. Price is $980 in Leica Store Los Angeles, Leica Store Miami and most other Leica Stores. It's not really a walking bag for all day, and not a travel bag for a complete system either.

 

Stylish camera bags for the woman on the move

Pompidoo makes camera bags for women (and a few for men), made in Riga by Jev and Irina.

Camera bag from Pompidoo.
Camera bag from Pompidoo.

 

 

Old School Bag

Perigrine camera bag in leather or canvas
The Perigrine camera bag from the Frankie Falcon workshop in the Lancashire valleys, UK comes in leather or canvas and in many colors from conservative green canvas over posh sand-colored leather, to pink and white leather. Several sizes to choose from, for the country and town.

 

Perigrine camera bag from Frankie Falcon
The backside of the Perigrine camera bag from Frankie Falcon in UK. Sand leather.

 

The DOMKE camera bag for your next war reportage

If you are going hiking and want to make sure all the gear stays in the bag no matter what, the DOMKE

DOMKE The Chronicle RuggedWear Black shoulder camera bag (from their The Journalist Series) is a huge bag with lots of space, extra pockets and made to last a lifetime. Only $280 at Amazon.
DOMKE The Chronicle RuggedWear Black shoulder camera bag (from their The Journalist Series) is a huge bag with lots of space, extra pockets and made to last a lifetime. Only $280 at Amazon.

 

A genius little detail on the DOMKE bag is the bar-code on this metal tag and suggesting you to call or report if you find this bag.
A genius little detail on the DOMKE bag is the bar-code on this metal tag and suggesting you to call or report if you find this bag.

 

Petrolbags / Sachtler bags that glow in the dark

Sachtler.com (previously known as Petrolbags) offer a range of sophisticated bags for dSLR, video and light equipment. For some types of travel with a lot of stuff, they might be quite usefiul. When I saw this one with internal LED light, I almost had to have one!

They also sell a separate Deca Removable LED Lighting System for only $33 that is only 70g (without battery).

The Sachtler Dr. Bag No 4 on location.
The Sachtler Dr. Bag No 4 on location.

The Wotancraft camera bags


The Wotancraft Ryker Leather camera bag with purple velvet inside is a dream.


Smart detail: Wotancraft have developed zippers that "turns outside" once opened. That way they don't scratch the cameras when you take the camera out of the bag. Very neat detail in an verall extremely well-made bag.
Smart detail: Wotancraft have developed zippers that "turns outside" once opened. That way they don't scratch the cameras when you take the camera out of the bag. Very neat detail in an verall extremely well-made bag.

Louis Vuitton Reporter Camera Bag
Louis Vuitton Reporter photographed by Javier Montiel, Miami. The bag comes in this color and a dark brown-greyish. The shape and feel is a little stiff as old camera bags used to be. $3,200 from Louis Vuitton but is a limited edition, so it might be hard to get or sold out.

 

Do it yourself bag

If you could buy this one, you probably would. Howeer, this one was made by the user herself, for her own exclusive use. Only one exists, and you can't buy one. That makes it cool in more than one way.
If you could buy this one, you probably would. Howeer, this one was made by the user herself, for her own exclusive use. Only one exists, and you can't buy one. That makes it cool in more than one way.

 

A&A Messenger

ARTISAN & ARTIST COV-7000N messenger photobag for airline travel and other greater needs
The Artisan & Artist COV-7000N messenger photobag is a bit to the large side for just transporting an Leica M and an extra battery. But for longer travel or trips, it fits MacBook Pro, Leica S and lenses, Leica M and lenses and a lot of other stuff such as chargers, water bottles and what have you. It's a $400 photobag - or 325€ at Monochrom in Germany - though dealers like Red Dot Cameras in London also stock A&A products now.

The Artisan & Artist COV-8000 messenger photobag inside and outside
The Artisan & Artist COV-7000N messenger photobag inside and outside.

 

The Biker Bag

It might not be the most practical camera bag, but it does look and sound very cool to have a Harley as part of your camera acessories.
It might not be the most practical camera bag, but it does look and sound very cool to have a Harley as part of your camera acessories.

 

A Bottega Veneta camera bag. Likely not esy to find new anymore, but soft and discrete for what it is.
A Bottega Veneta camera bag. Likely not esy to find new anymore, but soft and discrete for what it is.

 

 

 

The Billingham Pro Insert

 
  Billingham Pro insert
   

I have several of the Billingham Pro inserts, in orange and green.

The first one came with my Billingham Hadley Pro bag, and then I found out it was a rather ideal size that also would fit into other bags.

Hence, my travel bag is usually this insert put into any fashionable bag from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Goyard, or my own brand, The Von.

 

 

Hadley Pro insert:

External dimensions: W350mm x D90mm x H220mm.

Internal dimensions: W240mm x D80mm x H210mm.

 

 

Billingham discrete camera bag that will last a lifetime

When you see someone with a Billingham bag over the shoulder, there's usually 90% guarantee they have a Leica in it.

The Billingham Hadley Pro Original (35 x 12 x 25 cm) in black is one I got for the Leica M9 back in 2009. When I came from a trolley with Leica R cameras and lenses to the compact Leica M, I could hardly believe how compact I could travel. The Billingham Hadley Pro Original fits quite a lot, and when I found out the insert could be taken out and would fit inside Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Goyard and other bags ... oh my!

I also have a Billingham L2 (25 x 11 x 15 cm) in Khaki which I started using with the Leica M9: It fits a Leica M as backup and two or three lenses plus spare batteries, grey card and such, though I can't stand the Khaki color when in Denmark. It's okay in India or some other country where you change into the operation sandstorm or safari look. Billingham does Khaki, Black and Olive green, and also there are some limited editions in orange and other strong colors.

 

Billingham Hadley Pro Original
The Billingham Hadley Pro Original (35 x 12 x 25 cm) is said to "fit a small laptop" but actually takes a MacBook Pro 15" which makes it the perfect small bag. You wouldn't believe there was a 15" laptop inside if you saw it over my shoulder. There is padding for the inside so you can design your own departments. In this case I usually have two or three lenses in the right side, a lightmeter in the left side and then a backup camera in the middle - sometimes with a set of large Sony Monitor headphones as well(!). The 15" fits in the back pocket and there is still space for an A4 folder 1.5 cm thick or something. The front pockets can be made slightly larger than shown here. There's a button you can open up so the hole is expanded. But the left pocket can fit a large multi-card reader, a small cardreader, a small harddrive - and then in the right pocket extra glasses, notebook, pen, greycard, MacBook charger and stuff. I hardly ever put the Leica M9 into the bag; it's always over the shoulder why I use this bag only when I have to carry a laptop as well. There is also a zipped "secret" pocket for passport and papers on the backside towards your body.

 

As always, when you have had a bag for a couple of weeks you learn to use every single corner of it and you can fit a lot more than you thought to begin with.

In any case, I came by Red Dot Cameras in London and they have the full catalog from Billingham in stock. I have a hard time ordering bags online, I have to see them and feel them so I was thankful that Red Dot actually carry the full line as well as accessories such as shoulder pads. B&H Photo Video also carrry the full catalog of Billingham bags, but I wasn't in their store. And one very important thing I found out was that I could fit my 15" laptop into the model that was most likely meant for a 13" only.

Because apart from the Khaki color, the L2 is perfect over the chest and shoulder sitting almost on your back, and then the M9 hanging over the chest and shoulder the same way, but towards the front of your body and slightly higher than the bag. That is plenty of space for two or three lenses and a backup camera: With the Leica M9 you can travel really light, uncomplicated and discrete. (I will get back to this as airplanes are really not made for dSLR camera equipment).

 


My Leica is always across the chest and over the opposite shoulder with the bag hanging lower and towards the bag of the body where it rests well, also hanging over the opposite shoulder. Remember to buy a Billingham Shoulder Pad, it's a really good investment no matter how little or how much you put in the bag. Apart from the distribution of weight it makes the bag stay firmly in place. (For the fashionistas it's a Paul Smith Long Jacket (Main Line) and Mulberry leather gloves).

 

  I would estimate that CIESTA is an upcoming brand in camera bags. It's Italian leather made in Korea, and the prices are very favorable.
  I would estimate that CIESTA is an upcoming brand in camera bags. It's Italian leather made in Korea, and the prices are very favorable.
   

One warning: Don't wear your Leica M just over the right shoulder only when you have a bag hanging there as well. Very often the camera will take rest on top of the bag and it doesn't hang on your shoulder but now stands ont he top of the bag and will fall to the ground as soon as you make a move. I tend to have cameras just over one shoulder when working, and then across the chest and over the opposite shoulder when I walk. It's a miracle I haven't ruined a lens and camera yet!

 

Goyard Ambassade photo bagGoyard Ambassade bag in the classic colors brown/black. The other classic colors are black/black. The Billingham Hadley Pro insert fits inside and leaves a little extra space in the ends for more stuff. In other words, expect it to hold the same as a Billingham Hadley Pro, plus a 15" MacBook, a couple of hard drives and with extra space on top of the insert for scarf, jacket or such. Good for travel with cameras, lenses and laptop but a tad too large to walk around with all day. Also available with black leather and/or canvas in yellow, white, green and more Goyard colors. Only available via the few Goyard stores in Paris, Singapore, London, Hong Kong and a couple of other places. But Goyard will take orders via e-mail and bank transfer and ship, if you know what you want.

 


The Von camera bag by Thorsten von Overgaard and Matteo Perin. This is my own bag designed to hold four lenses, 2-4 camera bodies, folded 32" reflector, batteries and other accessories (30Hx40Wx11D cm / 11.5Hx15.5Wx4.3"). You can either get the same size and design, or design your own. The concept is bespoke luxury.
The Von camera
bag by Thorsten von Overgaard and Matteo Perin. This is my own bag designed to hold four lenses, 2-4 camera bodies, folded 32" reflector, batteries and other accessories (30Hx40Wx11D cm / 11.5Hx15.5Wx4.3"). You can either get the same size and design, or design your own. The concept is bespoke luxury.

 

The Travel bags designed by Thorsten von Overgaard

 

The Von

You want the ideal product that fulfills all of your needs, made to make you happy every time you touch it, and made to last forever.

When Goyard in Paris wouldn't fix the Goyard Aplin backpack, and I had other experiences with other luxury brands, I decided to make my own bags. Luxury used to mean that you got the best artisans can make, using best possible materials, based on many years of experience, resulting in a product that could last for generations. An example of luxury is the Louis Vuitton trunks and hardsided suitcases that were originally developed for traveling around the globe on steamer ships, trains and by horseback. Those were built to last (and still are).

 

Thorsten von Overgaard and Matteo Perin working on design of camera bags and travel bags.
Thorsten von Overgaard and Matteo Perin working on design of camera bags and travel bags

 

More and more, luxury has come to be expensive fashion rather than generations of knowledge applied to a product. Luxury and fashion are not the same. The only thing "fashion luxury" and "traditional luxury" have in common is that they are expensive to buy.

With Italian designer  Matteo Perin, I decided to make some bags for myself, using the best artisans in the world, and using the best materials available. I wanted - as I always do - something that meets my own requirements for functionality, good looks and durability. Matteo Perin has made bespoke clothing and accessories for celebrities and millionaires for years in this way.

But from a user viewpoint, that is exactly what you want. You want the ideal product that fulfills all your needs, made to make you happy every time you use it, and made to last forever.

 

Matteo Perin bags, designed by Matteo Perin and Thorsten von Overgaard. Made in Italy.
Matteo Perin
bags, designed by Matteo Perin and Thorsten von Overgaard. Handmade in Italy.

 

The Von that I use is specified to my exact needs. It is large enough to fit a 32" folded reflector, a Billingham Hadley Pro insert (four lenses and 2-4 Leica M bodies), two chargers, two hard drives, two pouches with batteries, sensor cleaning equipment, lens adapters, as well as plenty of pockets for things like vitamins, your passport, business cards, etc. The material is alligator, which makes it quite exclusive and expensive. If you are not familiar with alligator prices, this is what brings a $2,000 bag into the $50,000 range, such as this Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents Voyage $50,000 bag. Now you know if you "need" alligator or not.

 

The Von in two sizes. The smaller one is great as a document bag and will fit a Billingham insert (four lenses and 2-4 camera bodies, plus a laptop), and was made without shoulder strap. The final version for me is larger, so as to fit a 32" folded reflector in it, as well as the battery chargers and hard drives that I stuff in each end of the bag.
The Von in two sizes. The smaller one is great as a document bag and will fit a Billingham insert (four lenses and 2-4 camera bodies, plus a laptop), and was made without shoulder strap. The final version for me is larger, so as to fit a 32" folded reflector in it, as well as the battery chargers and hard drives that I stuff in each end of the bag.

 

Price is upon request. Expect $6,000 for calf skin and $30 - $40,000 for croc. The way it works is that you order the exact version of The Von that I have, or specify your own with Matteo Perin as to the size, the materials, the straps, the inside design and all by sending an e-mail to Adam or Matteo. Then Matteo Perin will advise and calculate the price. Delivery is usually three months.

My bag is exactly 20% more expensive than the smaller one in the picture above, and the size difference is 20%. That's because it's crocodile. In calfskin the artisan labor is a larger percentage than the materials. The Von is limited simply by the cost of it, and each bag is specified to your exact needs.



In the video you can see the grey version of The Von we made for a client. Everything is the same in terms of pockets inside, shoulder strap, but the grey version has cashmere inside.
In the video you can see the grey version of The Von we made for a client. Everything is the same in terms of the pockets inside, and the shoulder strap, but the grey version has cashmere inside. My own The Von has microfiber inside.


This will give an idea about the size of the bag compared to the Billingham insert (in plastic next to Thorsten). There's space in the ends of the bag for hard drives and battery chargers (3.5 cm in each end), and there is space above the Billingham insert (10 cm) for a jacket, headphones and so on.
This will give an idea about the size of the bag compared to the Billingham insert (in plastic next to Thorsten). There's space in the ends of the bag for hard drives and battery chargers (3.5 cm in each end), and there is space above the Billingham insert (10 cm) for a jacket, headphones and so on.

 

The 24hr Bag

Another bag Matteo Perin and I have made for me is the 24hr Bag. It's meant to be a travel bag for a short 24-hour travel, but in my life it takes the place of my document bag. I've used an orange leather-version of theLouis Vuitton Porte-Document Voyage for years (from the Fall/Winter 2011 collection), but it's always been packed to the max with papers, computers, pens, headphones, water and all the small things you need in your carry-on.

I decided I wanted a bag that had space enough for all the usual, plus gloves, scarf, food, toothbrush ... I simply just wanted space enough no matter what. So for me, the 24hr Bag is the expanded carry-on document bag.

 


The Von 24hr Bag

 

My suitcases and bags are all "compartmented", which means they are organized like a camera bag with compartments for each thing. It makes it easy to pack because they’re always the same things, and they are always in the same place. When I stay in a place, my LV suitcase works as my drawer. I never unpack. Everything is in its compartment in the suitcase. It's my home, and it's organized like a home where you always have knives and forks in one certain place, clean socks in another place, and toothpaste on that shelf.

Likewise, my document bag and my camera bag is my "drawer" with cameras, cables, card-readers, manuscripts, chargers, pens and all. This also means, that for me, my travel bags and suitcases get to be around me for admiration and enjoyment. It's my furniture I travel with, which makes them an aesthetic and important feature. Beyond functionality and durability, they serve that purpose of lifestyle in the places I stay.

My own 24hr Bag will be with cashmere inside, and with a special insert that has pockets for passport, chewing gum, cards and all the small things.

 

Another type of the 24hr Bag by Matteo Perin and Thorsten von Overgaard: A croc duffle bag.
Another type of the 24hr Bag by Matteo Perin and Thorsten von Overgaard: A croc duffle bag.

 

The VonBack backpack

We're working on the VonBack and have made several prototypes. I still believe a backpack would be an ideal camera bag for travel. I like to carry my bags by the handle, it's old-fashioned. But I rely on trolleys, which many airports have. But there is not a single American airport that offer trolleys anymore, which mean you have to find other ways to carry things. Here are some of the VonBack prototypes.

 

The VonBack backpack camera bag by Thorsten von Overgaard   The VonBack backpack camera bag by Thorsten von Overgaard
     
The VonBack backpack camera bag by Thorsten von Overgaard   The VonBack backpack camera bag by Thorsten von Overgaard

 

 

Special Luxury Travel Gear

Matteo Perin also makes trunks, blankets and all the luxury items you can think of, for private airplanes, villas, cars and yachts.

Matteo Perin has been doing bespoke luxory for millionaires and celebrities for years.
Matteo Perin has been doing bespoke luxury for millionaires and celebrities for years.

     
Hard-sided Matteo Perin suitcases in deer skin and calf skin, leather handle and brass locks/corners. 49 x 23 x 75 cm / 19.3 x 9 x 29.5" (sketch for client).   Light-weight soft-sided Matteo Perin suitcases with inside pocket (sketch fo client).
Hard-sided Matteo Perin suitcases in deer skin and calf skin, leather handle and brass locks/corners.
49 x 23 x 75 cm / 19.3 x 9 x 29.5" (sketch for client).
  Light-weight soft-sided Matteo Perin suitcases with inside pocket (sketch fo client).

 

Bag sizes explained

When you get into luxory bags, they are often described with PM, MM or GM as names for sizes. I can never remember them myself, as I don't speak French, but here they are:


PM - Meitite Modele = S - Small model.

MM - Moyen Modele = M - Medium model.

GM - Grand Modele = L - Large model.

 

Luxury Brand Suitcases

I like Louis Vuitton because they're one of the few traditional luxury brands that still makes products that are made to last. I've used quite a few of their products, and their suitcases are hands-down the most durable suitcases in existence. You buy a second-hand on eBay that hasn't been used a lot, but is for sale for a favorable price. Then you make it your travel companion everywhere you go. I never wrap it in plastic, nor use any cover, and I never lock it (because TSA would break up the locks then). Over the years, a small piece of the leather may get ripped off, but the suitcase stays the same despite all the beating, and Louis Vuitton can repair them, anytime that you are able to send them to Paris for a few months.

 

I'm usually pretty sure it's my suitcase, but this time, in Hamburg, somebody else had more LV suitcases than me.
I'm usually pretty sure it's my suitcase, but this time, in Hamburg, somebody else had more LV suitcases than I.

 

  Karl Lagerfeld uses Goyard, and apart from the diva statement it is, you have to fly private plane with this kit. Marily Monroe also used Goyard, but Karl just makes her 7-piece Goyard kit look like a carry-on.
 

Karl Lagerfeld uses Goyard, and apart from the diva statement it is, you have to fly private plane with this kit. Marilyn Monroe also used Goyard, but Karl just makes her 7-piece Goyard kit look like a carry-on.

 
Coco Chanel's Goyard set also must take second or third place after Karl Lagerfeld.
Coco Chanel's Goyard set also must take second or third place after Karl Lagerfeld..

I love the Goyard pattern, but their suitcases are made extremely heavy. I keep drooling over a yellow Goyard suitcase, but it's just very heavy. If you have a private jet, the weight of the suitcases is less of a concern. But when faced with the usual 20kg, 23kg and 30kg (40, 46 and 60 pounds) limits for suitcases on most airlines, the suitcase itself shouldn't take up too much of the weight.

A Louis Vuitton hardsided  Bisten 70 ($7,100) weighs about 12 pounds without anything in it. The Louis Vuitton Alzer series ($9,000) is a tad heavier, usually 16-25 pounds in itself. A Goyard uses heavier materials than Louis Vuitton, often 15-30 pounds.

Steamer trunks are a different story. They are usually 40-60 pounds before you start putting anything in them. Nice for decoration in the home, but not for airline travel.

It's not that the suitcases for check-in that mortals travel with are much lighter. A Samsonite trolley is often 10-12 pounds because the wheels and handle alone weigh 5-6 pounds! A Tumi V3 is 11 pounds. Halliburton aluminum cases (that were really cool in the 1960's) are 14-18 pounds for a check-in suitcase.

When you put the wheels on the outside, the 22-inch Hartmann 7R is probably the most light-weight suitcase around with just 4 pounds. In other words, don't judge a suitcase's weight by the looks. Put it on a weight scale.

Goyard was established in 1853 and Louis Vuitton was established in 1854. Hence the slightly more class in Goyard which has also lived a very exclusive life with just a few stores whereas Louis Vuitton is "on every corner". The new brand to watch is Moynat. They opened in 1849, so they're even older than Goyard and Louis Vuitton. Moynat closed down in 1970 for a while but was brought back to life by LVMH's (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) CEO Bernard Arnault in 2011 and now they have opened shops in Paris, New York, Hong Kong and more. I visited their workshop in Paris with the Leica TL2 some time ago and made a series of photos from that.

 


The Moynat workshop in the heart of Paris that I visited in 2017 when they were doing a series of women's purses in calfskin and croc. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Moynat workshop in the heart of Paris that I visited in 2017 when they were doing a series of women's purses in calfskin and croc. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 
 

The suitcase for overflow that I always bring. The 1 pound large duffle bag.

   

The Overflow Suitcase

If you want to travel really light, a duffel bag is likely the best way. I have some $50 ACE Hotel duffel bags I use that are less than 1 pound in weight each. They are large bags (15x13x24"), made to be filled with stuff you need to transport. Either all the stuff you bought on your travel and need to bring home, or if you need to bring lots of big jackets, books and boots to some place. I'll often put a smaller bag inside it and check it in, so it works as both protection for the smaller bag, and later as an extra bag I can fill up on its own.

 

 

Joy Villa modelling in Jakarta, Indonesia for the workshop, with a LV suitcase as decoration
Joy Villa modelling in Jakarta, Indonesia for the workshop, with a LV suitcase as decoration

 

 

The Computer Bag

Besides a "camera travel bag" with cameras, I usually have one more bag as my carry-on. That's the computer bag that holds the computer and the stuff you usually need on an airplane (passport, headphones and such). This is the one that is now getting replaced by my "24hr Bag" that simply holds more.

The Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents-Voyage in Fusion Orange has served as my computer bag for 6-7 years.
The Louis Vuitton Porte-Documents-Voyage in Fusion Orange has served as my computer bag for 6-7 years. You can read this article on Japan Camera Hunter how I use it.

 


Alain Delon in the airport. The classic way of traveling, without wheels and shoulder straps
Alain Delon in the airport. The classic way of traveling, without wheels and shoulder straps.

 

Wotancraft bags

I've tested a few Wotancraft camera bags, and have yet to test their promising looking backpack. Their Hitman 15" Laptop Bag turned out to be almost indispensable for me, lugging my computer and papers from home to my usual morning cafe spot to work.

Wotancraft Hitman 15" Laptop Bag
Wotancraft Hitman 15" Laptop Bag

Their Hitman 15" Laptop Bag has two things going for it: One is that it sits really well on the body when it hangs over the shoulder. Few bags have the quality that they sit so you don't 'really feel them. This one almost wraps around the body so you could carry it all day without feeling like carrying a bag (the only other bag that sits this perfect is the now discontinued Goyard Sac Grand Bleu MM which is a $1,800 bag vs. the Hitman 15" Laptop Bag which is about $440). The other feature of the Wotancraft laptop bag is that it holds an enourmus amount of papers, books and other stuff, other than a computer, without looking much more than just a computer cover.

 

 

The Travel System

I have quite a few camera bags. As I have gotten more experienced with travel, many of my Billingham and Louis Vuitton bags that usually fit a laptop have taken the backseat for smaller walkabout-bags like the Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag and my Goyard Sac Grand Bleu MM black canvas messenger bag.

I usually travel with a suitcase or two, and with a carry-on camera bag and a carry-on computer bag. The inside of my suitcase would make a engineer proud because it looks like the engine of an AUDI with closed compartments: My extra bags serve as compartments inside other bags and suitcases. And it is those bags I take out and use for walkabout when I have arrived.

In any case, as it may appear to you, it is not a simple story. Hence Japancamerahunter.com spent three days on describing me and Joy Villa's bags:

1. In Your Bag 675 - Thorsten Overgaard

2. In Your Bag 676 - Thorsten Overgaard
(Leica M 240, Louis Vuitton Binocular Bag and Goyard Sac Grand Bleu MM)

3. In Your Bag 690 - Joy Villa (Leica M9, Leica D-Lux 6 and Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM)

4. "Traveling in Style - An interview with photographer Thorsten von Overgaard"
(Louis Vuitton Belkin 70 Suitcase)

 

In Your Bag - Princess Joy Villa
The female version of a camera bag: Joy Villa.

 

 

Hideto Kawahara
The Goyard bag with Leica MM of chef mastermind Hideto Kawahara who runs the Hide-Chan Ramen restaurant on 52 Street in New York and on Wellington Street in Central Hong Kong and in 3 Chome 12-14 Kitaaoyama in Tokyo. He collaborates with mastermind JAPAN, a street fashion brand aimed at people who want skulls on everything they wear.

 

 

The waterproof photo bag

 

Kenko Interceptor camera bag
Kenko in Japan makes filters, lightmeters, adapters ... and bags! One of the bags they make is a series of waterproof bags that comes in pink, yellow or black. The above is the Interceptor Tote Bag. See more on their website.

 

 

Coffee & Leica

Leica makes a Leica M Noctilux coffee mug and Leica S 70mm coffee mug that you can buy in most Leica Stores and for example Adorama for $35.

But this one is more rarer. It is from Korea only, and it's for just a singular moment of enjoyment.



This is actually a free Leica cup, and it comes with coffee. Unfortunately, you have to travel to Seoul in Korea to get one at Leica Store Seoul. The Leica Store(s) there are quite amazing and make Leica stickers, notebooks, cups and more ... just for the fun of it.

 

The WestLicht coffee mug is a limited edition that is rather unique and can be yours for only €7 if you are quick to get one. WestLicht is both a museum, gallery and the home of the bi-yearly Leica auctions that bring home €500,000 or more for rare Leica cameras. I found this in their museum store and bought two of them.

 

Leica t-shirts

Some like t-shirts with prints, others don't. If you happen to look good in print t-shirts, that's one way to 'carry a camera' those days you are too lazy to bring the actual camera. There will always be something to talk to strangers in Tokyo about if you have a nice IIIf camera on your chest ...


Dodge and Burn does t-shirts with old Leica cameras on them. This is one model for men and women.

 

Leica 0.95 Noctilux t-shirt
This was given out at the launch of the Leica M Monochrom in Berlin in 2012.

 

 

Luxory notebooks and pens

The urge to express oneself on paper seems to go hand-in-hand with photography. I meet many Leica users who also like fountain pens and the art of writing in style.

In today's world where it's easier to make notes on the phone or computer (so they are stored and easy to find by searching for them), pen and paper may have it's place when you want to sketch something out and look at it. The process of writing and thinking is better done with pen and paper than on a keyboard.

 

Outside a cafe in Paris writing with a Sailor fountain pen. If you prefer a thin nib, the Sailor is a good choice. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
Outside a cafe in Paris writing with a Sailor fountain pen. If you prefer a thin nib, the Sailor is a good choice. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Handmade Epica leather journal in black. To the left is another Epica Wood Cover journal (see photo below). In the bag you can see a little of the Hermes Globe Trotter with zipper (That one fits a calendar and notepad, or a notepad and an iPad Mini. I find the Hermes Ulyssee Notebook more practical because it's soft and with thicker paper).
Handmade Epica leather journal in black. To the left is another Epica Wood Cover journal (see photo below). In the bag you can see a little of the Hermes Globe Trotter with zipper (That one fits a calendar and notepad, or a notepad and an iPad Mini. I find the Hermes Ulyssee Notebook more practical because it's soft and with thicker paper).

 

Another handmade Epica Wood Cover journal with my intials. Maybe more for home use than travel.
Another handmade Epica Wood Cover journal with my intials. Maybe more for home use than travel.

 


Practical: I like this Moynat notebook insert. It's the refill for their leather notebooks, but I just take the insert to make it simpler. One step up from the Moleskine notebooks that I've also used a lot. On pen's I'm not as sophisticated as some. I've stayed with Mont Blanc for all the years and get only the pens I like, and I use them. I prefer the pen to be heavy and with a Medium or Bold nib. Recently I've changed the ink from dark blue in all, to different colors in each pen. As an excuse to circulate which I use: Orange in one pen, Beatles Purple in another, JFK Blue, Miles Davis light blu and so on. When I drop them or they need service, I send them to Mont Blanc in Hamburg.
Practical
: I like this Moynat notebook insert. It's the refill for their leather notebooks, but I just take the insert to make it simpler. One step up from the Moleskine notebooks that I've also used a lot. On pen's I'm not as sophisticated as some. I've stayed with Mont Blanc for all the years and get only the pens I like, and I use them. I prefer the pen to be heavy and with a Medium or Bold nib. Recently I've changed the ink from dark blue in all, to different colors in each pen. As an excuse to circulate which I use: Orange in one pen, Beatles Purple in another, JFK Blue, Miles Davis light blu and so on. When I drop them or they need service, I send them to Mont Blanc in Hamburg.

 

Five year calendar

You don't habe to travel to Japan to get the Hobnichi quality; they have dealers in most countries. Techo means "Planner".

The Hobnichi 5-year calender in A6 format is thin japanese Tomoe River paper where the ink doesn't bleed through the paper, and the pages folds out flat when you open the calendar. Best of all, you can use it as a notebook as well because the "page numbers" basically is dates over the next five years, but the rest is free-style notepad for ideas, appointments, diary, drawings and more. Has weekly quotes (in Japanese).
The Hobnichi 5-year calender in A6 format is thin japanese Tomoe River paper where the ink doesn't bleed through the paper, and the pages folds out flat when you open the calendar. Best of all, you can use it as a notebook as well because the "page numbers" basically is dates over the next five years, but the rest is free-style notepad for ideas, appointments, diary, drawings and more. Has weekly quotes (in Japanese).

There is also the Hobnichi Techo Planner Book which is a 1-year calendar in similar quality, available in Englihs or Japanese, 450 pages of thin, lightweight Tomoe River paper where the ink doesn't bleed through. It even has a serial number and a daily quote. Price is around $50.
There is also the Hobnichi Techo Planner Book which is a 1-year calendar in similar quality, available in Englihs or Japanese, 450 pages of thin, lightweight Tomoe River paper where the ink doesn't bleed through. It even has a serial number and a daily quote. Price is around $50.

 

Focus adjustment of the camera - once in a while

Due to use, change in temperature, humidity, air pressure on travel etc., the Leica M, Leica M9, Leica M9-P, Leica M-E and Leica M Monochrom focus mechanism will go off. Once I left Denmark with my main camera slightly off and my backup Leica M9 in focus. Two weeks later, in the US, it was the opposite. So those things go back and forth and are not to be worried too much about.

But once in a while, it is a great feeling to get everything checked.

 


My Leica M 240 and two of my Leica M9 cameras turned in for the grand focus adjustment in April 2014. Leica seem to have started a new type of focus adjustment where not only the rangefinder is adjused, but also the actual sensor alignment. At least, that was what I was told. They would align the sensors, the rangefinder and the lenses so everything was fine tuned.

 

But it is good to get the camera adjusted once in a while, and it is a great feeling (of confidence) to have the camera freshly adjusted. Manual focusing has a lot to do with confidence as there is no beep sound or green lamp telling you when you have it. You have to decide for yourself when it is there, and knowing the camera is in sync will help that decision.

I got my two Leica M9's and the Leica M Monochrom adjusted in December 2012 at Camera Electronics in Perth, Australia, and after that the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 was just spot on, on all three cameras.

Focus adjustment is usually just the camera. Though, if you examine how the focusing works, it seems possible that the lens could be damaged or simply work to a degree so that the lens also needs adjustment. But mostly it is the camera that is off.

 

Focus adjustment at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar.
Focus adjustment at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar.

 

How to adjust the rangefinder focusing (don't do this at home)

There is one screw behind the center logo on the front of the Leica M10 , Leica M9, Leica M-E, Leica M 240 (on the Leica M Monochrom, Leica M9-P and Leica M-D 262 it is behind the small decoration screw where the logo usually would be) that adjusts the level of focus window. This screw requires a special tool, not just an ordinary screwdriver. Though this adjustment is seldom necessary: What it adjusts is the level of the focus window, and only if the two focus windows inside the viewfinder is not aligned on the same horizontal level would you adjust on this screw.

  Focus adjustment of the Leica M9
  The chrome wheel in the top behind the bayonet, and a screw behind it, those two elements have to be aligned on close focus, middle focus and infinity to get the focus right.

The actual focus adjustment (of the distance) is done inside the camera. The focus mechanism is in the top that you can see when you take off the lens. The chrome wheel you see there is the one that is moved back and forth by the lens' focus ring; and that is how the focus is done in a Leica M rangefinder camera.

The ring and the screw a bit further back are individually adjusted so that the camera focus correctly at close distance, medium distance and at infinity. And it is usually done (by someone who know what he or she is doing) with a 90mm lens as that is the most critical to focus shift.

When done correctly, the camera will be 100% in focus with all lenses till it needs the next adjustment. But as said, don't worry so much about focusing. I have worked with Noctilux for months whilst my Leica M9 focus mechanism was broken loose (in which case it has to be glued back on and is beyond a normal adjustment). Read more about how to focus in the section "Focusing with the Leica M9" on page 13.

 

Sensor adjustment

The Leica R DMR Digital Back could be adjusted for the sensor, which made sense as the sensor was mounted on the back door of the camera, so to say. I never heard of this for the Leica M 240 and Leica M9 till I turned in three of my cameras in April 2014 at Leica in Wetzlar. They said they would adjust the sensors as well. If that is the case, Leica Camera AG most likely made a new bench for focus adjustment. Time will tell, and I'll let you know.

 

 

Sensor cleaning

I'm not big on sensor cleaning myself. I usually visit the Leica factory in Wetzlar 3-4 times a year,and they do the cleaning as part of the overall adjustment of the cameras. But I do carry a set with me, in case I absolutely have to clean my sensor. It's very easy if you have the right tools and the right liquid that is strong enough to dissolve spots (and which evaporates and leaves no traces).

Cleaning sensors is rather easy, and the sensor has a protective glass surface. You can apply quite some pressure without damagining anything. Should you (as I do) prefer to leave the work and responsibility to others, most cities around the world have professional camera stores that offer sensor cleaning. That's all sensors, and Leica sensors are no special. Leave it to the experts when you need cleaning.

The liquid is special sensor cleaning liquid that vaporizes by itself. If you use wahter, you will get lots of stripes. So you need the swabs and the liquid. VisibleDust swabs and VisibleDust 8ml liquid is what I travel with for sensor cleaning. Sephora free brushes for cleaning the outside of the camera (to the left). Leica TL with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.
The liquid is special sensor cleaning liquid that vaporizes by itself. If you use wahter, you will get lots of stripes. So you need the swabs and the liquid. VisibleDust swabsand VisibleDust 8ml liquidis what I travel with for sensor cleaning. Sephora free brushes for cleaning the outside of the camera (to the left). Leica TL with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The Sephora Makeup Trick

Sephora stores are all over the world, and they are so kind they have free brushes that are perfect for cleaning a Leica M in all the narrow spots.

I usually visit the Sephora stores around the world and take some of their free brushes that works perfectly to clean the hard-to-get-to parts of the camera next to shutter dial, and other corners.
For cleaning camera exterior: I usually visit the Sephora makeup stores around the world and take some of their free brushes that works perfectly to clean the hard-to-get-to parts of the camera next to shutter dial, and other corners.

 

This is how the preview screen on the back of the Leica M10 looks when you press "sensor cleaning" in the menu. Unlike what you might expect, the camera doesn't clean the sensor. It simply scans the sensor for dirt and show a prview of what's in store. It might look impressive, but this is nothing. If you use your lenses wide open as I do, you will seldom see the spots on the sensor. If you stop down to f/4.0 or f/11, that's when your pictures start looking like this preview.
This is how the preview screen on the back of the Leica M10 looks when you press "sensor cleaning" in the menu. Unlike what you might expect, the camera doesn't clean the sensor. It simply scans the sensor for dirt and show a prview of what's in store. It might look impressive, but this is nothing. If you use your lenses wide open as I do, you will seldom see the spots on the sensor. If you stop down to f/4.0 or f/11, that's when your pictures start looking like this preview.

 

A Pilgrimage to Wetzlar

Once in your life as a Leica user you should treat yourself to a trip to the Leica Mothership in Wetzlar. Arrive in the evening and get a good nights sleep. Next morning you drop off your cameras and lenses for adjustment and cleaning while you explore the Leica campus, the Leitz Cafe and perhaos the Wetzlar city center where Oskar Barnack made his first test photos with the Leica prototype

This is how the preview screen on the back of the Leica M10 looks when you press "sensor cleaning" in the menu. Unlike what you might expect, the camera doesn't clean the sensor. It simply scans the sensor for dirt and show a prview of what's in store. It might look impressive, but this is nothing. If you use your lenses wide open as I do, you will seldom see the spots on the sensor. If you stop down to f/4.0 or f/11, that's when your pictures start looking like this preview.
Read my article here from the last day in the old factory in Solms, just as Leica Camera AG moved to their new headquarter in Wetzlar.

 

Leica Third Party Repair Facilities worldwide

I'll try to collect a few third party repair facilities around the world here that may be of help when you want to shorten the delivery time. Some of these will do 6-bit coding, adjust and lubricate lenses, adjust focus on the camera body, replace missing or damaged parts and much more.

Perth, Australia
Camera Electronics in Perth Australis is my favorite Leica dealer worldwide for being the most dynamic salesmen you will find to buy Leica from! They also have a repair facility upstairs that is headed by no less than Cesar who has 20+ year experience with Leica cameras and lenses. He has performed adjustments on many of my Leica M bodies and performeed other small miracles.

Ernest CesarErnest Cesar has more than 20 years experience with cleaning, adjusting and repairing Leica cameras at Camera Electronics in Perth. Here he's adjusting a 75mm Summilux lens.
Leica SL 601 with Leica 180mm APO-Telyt-R f/3.4 @ f/3.4, 200 ISO, 1/500 sec. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Hong Kong
The Leica doctor in Hong Kong that I have worked with is Lo Kwok Wah in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Telephone +852 2388 8237

Lo Kwok Wah
Mr. Lo Kwok Wah of Hong Kong smoothening my Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Rigid (version II)

 

Tokyo, Japan and Kyoto, Japan
I am sure ther are lots of 3rd party repair men in Japan, but I would try first in the Leica Store Ginza where they have a repair department on the 1st floor that can handle quite a few things that other Leica stores would have to go to Germany to get done. The address is 6-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Telephone is +81 3 6215 7070. You can also drop off at the Leica Store Kyoto and they will bring it to Tokyo and back.

Visiting the Leica Store in Ginza, Tokyo. © 2012 Thorsten Overgaard.
Visiting the Leica Store in Ginza, Tokyo. © 2012 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

New York, USA
I've heard good things of Nippon Photoclinic, Inc. but never visited myself. They can be found at
37W 39 St, Suite 401, New York, NY 10018, http://www.nipponphotoclinic.com
e-mail: nipponphotoclinic@gmail.com, Telephonel +1 (212) 982 3177

 

Wisconsin, USA
The 3rd party repair in the USA I keep getting recommended by dealers and Leica owners as the best Leica technician in the US is DAG in Wisconsin. Telephone +1 608 835 3342. E-mail dagcam@chorus.net

 

Paris, France
The person recommended in France is Mr. Silvain at Photo Suffren, 45, avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris. Telephone 01 45 67 24 25. Website: www.photosuffren.com

 

Vienna, Austria
Leica Shop Vienna have restored and repaired Leica cameras for eons and have several experts that can help with both vintage and newer cameras and lenses.

 

Leica Shop Vienna by Thorsten von Overgaard
The nice Leica Shop Vienna is a great place for second-hand cameras, filters, boxes, acessories and more. But also a great repair place for Leica cameras.



Wetzlar, Germany (vintage Leitz and Leica repair facility)
In Wetzlar, the hometown of Leica, there is a third party repair man, Ottmar Michaely, that deals solely with vintage and very rare Leica and Leitz models. Even Leica Camera AG uses his company, Wetzlarer Feine Mechanik, for vintage cameras in their collection. Telephone +49 6443 833880.

 

Luton, England (United Kingdom)
Camera Repairs & Restoration, 5 Downview, 751 Dunstable Road, Luton, LU4 0HP UK. Leica servicing and repairs to most Leica cameras & lenses from 1930's to 1990's. Please telephone or SMS text to +44 7790 627778. Here is the website.

 

 

The Walter Eyepiece

Walter Eyepiece is made for the individual who has astigmatism and who’s eyesight doesn’t allow optimum focusing with a Leica M camera. The same Walter Eyepiece would work for your Leica M10, Leica M9, Leica ME, Leica M Monochrom and Leica M 240 as it is ascrewed into the viewfinder.

It's a prescription lens close up to the viewfinder front lens, so all framelines are visible.

 

Walter Eyepiece
The Walter Eyepiece is $385 and is made to order.

 

Leica also make original Leica correction lenses to fit on the Leica M. I have met few who were happy with those, and the reason is not that it is bad optics but that having prescription optics on a camera is something that is hard to find proper consulting about: Your optician doesn't know how a camera works, and your camera dealer is not an optician. Some opticians think you need reading glasses to see through a camera, for example.

The viewfinder in a Leica M is not close-up viewing of a screen via a prism. It is simply viewing what is in front of the camera at the actual distance. Hence it is the same prescription glasses you wear using a Leica M as when you walk or drive a car.

It's one of the advantages of the Leica M rangefinder; that your eyes don't get tired of looking through the viewfinder. It does with dSLR because you are looking into a viewfinder that enlarges a small matte screen just a few centimeters (or an inch) away.

 

The Walter Contrast Eyepiece

As of August 2014 Walter also came up with a new invention, the contrast eyepiece. It is simply a yellow tone glass that increases the contrast for the eye, making focusing easier. It's $180 and fits any Leica M camera (film or digital). See more here.

Walter Eyepiece
The Walter Contrast Eyepiece increase contrast -making it easier to focus.

 

 

For a closer look through the Leica M

  a Leica M with a original Leica diopter mounted on the viewfinder
  The back of a Leica M with a original Leica diopter mounted on the viewfinder. This for use without glasses, for people who normally wear glasses. Price is around $100
  Diopter origin: Late 16th century, from French, from Latin dioptra, from Greek, from di- ‘through’ + optos ‘visible.’

A pleasant surprise for users of SLR cameras (SLR=Single Lens Reflex) getting the Leica M9 is that you no longer look through a small lens onto a screen, but look directly through a range-finder lens mechanism and out on the scenery.

What does this mean? It means that your eye doesn't have to adjust to an artificial distance but sees a real distance. So if you wear glasses, you will experience that you can use the Leica M rangefinders with reading glasses, normal glasses, screen glasses or no glasses. The framing and focusing is possible and feels natural with any choice - whereas on a SLR you would have to use your normal "long distance" glasses in order to see right.


Nevertheless, a number of diopters exist from Leica Camera AG, from +3.0 to - 3.0 with 0.5 steps all the way, either to remedy eyesight, or - more often - to change the size of the viewfinder so that you see a large crop of it (when shooting 75mm, 90mm or 135mm), or a slightly larger part of the viewfinder (when shooting 28mm or 35mm). For most glass wearer the 50mm lens frame in the Leica M9 viewfinder will feel comfortable, the 35mm you have to move around a bit to see all corners of.


Prior to ordering, it should be noted that the Leica M's viewfinder is preset by default to -0.5 diopters. So anyone wearing glasses of 1 diopter strength would require a +1.5 diopters M system correction lens (which is why some have noted that there's a difference between figuring out diopters for Leica R cameras and Leica M cameras). A number of third party solutions exist as well, which - in my opinion - would compare to non-prescription glasses bought on the gas station: If there is one thing Leica know about, it's optics. So if you fit a diopter to a $7,000 camera, don't save $100 on it. Please!

 

  The Leica 1.4X magnifier
  The Leica 1.4X magnifier is around $350. This if for people who don't wear glasses, as well as those who do.
   

The magnifier is a different story. This is for people with glasses, or without, for magnifying the look through the viewfinder. Typically to zoom in so that one can use a 75mm, 90mm or 135mm lens more precisely. Price is in the range of $325 and the 1.4X magnifier then magnifies with 40%. It comes with a leather case that fits onto the camera strap.

 

 

 

 

 

Things to consider on eyesight and using a camera

If your prescription glasses are of good quality and you can see well with them - including details and contrasts in the landscape - they should work well with a Leica . The rangefinder/viewfinder in the Leica M 240 had improved over the previous Leica M models, and the Leica M10 has improved even more.

But if you are using prescription glasses with several areas for reading close by and viewing normal distance the (rather small) area that is used for viewing at normal distance should be between your eyeball and the Leica viewfinder when you look through. If that are is sitting in another place, you will have trouble seeing through the viewfinder.

Two screens - did you think of that?

Next thing is that no matter what solution you choose, you will have to deal with both the preview screen, the rangefinder/viewfinder and the world around you. That's what I mean with considering what will work the best. If you have correction on the viewfinder, then what happens when you have to change the iso and look at the cameras display on the back? Do you have to dig up your prescription glasses then ... and is that what you want?

 

         
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EVF electronic viewfinder

The Leica EVF Visoflex 0020 electronic viewfinder offers a great view of the image, with the possibility of a whole new level of sharpness. And it has built-in correction of eyesight. It is my opinion that nobody should get a Leica M10 without getting a viewfinder as well. After a while you may be one of the few that won't use it, but most will, and for some it is a whole new world that opens up. If you have bad eyes, trouble focusing, trouble anything ... the EVF will do for you what you thought you had to buy a dSLR with autofocus do. It gives you pinsharp images.

 


The Leica M240 (pictures above) and the Leica M10 have Live View, which makes it possible to add on an EVF so you see what the sensor sees.

 

Lightmeter

I have written a whole article on lightmeters, "Using an external light meter for accurate, failproof metering" which gives some ins and outs about light metering. with external light meters. In short, this is the most accurate light metering you can get.

Despite the fact that light metering is not exactly space technology, lightmeters tend to be too bulky and too complicated. The LUMU lightmeter changes this into a simple to use, accurate and compact - perhaps even trendy - package that works with your iPhone. For a price of only $149 is is even less than most other lightmeters.

 


The new lightmeter for 2014 and forward, the LUMU. You press the parameter you want to measure, in the photo it is the exposure time. The 200 ISO and the f/2.0 doesn't change, only the shutter time. Nice. (You may sex up your iPhone with the Smallworks LEGO case).

 

One of the things that traditional lightmeters do to complicate things, is that they give aperture for example f/2.03. or f/8.04. Not only is it confusing, it is also not applicable on any lens to set the aperture to f/2.03.

And forget about aperture priority or shutter priority when you buy a lightmeter. In the LUMU app on the iPhone you simply lock the ISO and the aperture so as to only allow the lightmeter to figure out an exposure time.

Or you lock the exposure time and the aperture, letting the LUMU only give you the ISO. That's pretty bright, simple and as it should always have been.

Moreover, it is compact to bring with you, provided you have an iPhone with you as well. Traditional lighmeters has the same size as a camera (at least if you are using a Leica M). The LUMU is the size of the cap of a water bottle.

 


The LUMU comes in wither black or silver, in a well-designed package with a tiny manual, and two ways of carrying the LUMU meter: Either around the neck in the Lumuneck strap or in a small leather pouch. Price is only $149 and is shipped internationally so it arrives in a few days.

Read more about light metering in these articles:
- "Using an external light meter for accurate, fail-proof metering"
- Page 17 : "Light metering with the Leica M9, Leica M9-P and Monochrom"
- Page 31 : "Learning the new Leica M Type 240 - Light metering in the Leica M 240"

 


Some of my other light meters. It can become an obsession, even you only need one!

 

 

Tools for accurate colors

There are quite a few ways to get accurate colors. The color meters was the way to do it in the past. Today you can get more compact solutions like the LUMU Power which connects to the iPhone. My personal preference is the WhiBal card that has the size of a credit card and doesn't require any power. Read more in my article "White Balance for more Beauty, Part 3" here.

 

The four choices in setting the colors right: The Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700 ($1,498 at BH Photo), the Kenko KCM-3100 color meter ($798 at BH Photo), the LUMU Power ($299 at LUMU), or the WhiBal G7 card ($30 at WhiBal/Amazon). The latter is the simplest, most economical and compact alternative. Read more in my article "White Balance for more Beauty, Part 3" here.
The four choices in setting the colors right: The Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700 ($1,498 at BH Photo), the Kenko KCM-3100 color meter ($798 at BH Photo), the LUMU Power ($299 at LUMU), or the WhiBal G7 card ($30 at WhiBal/Amazon). The latter is the simplest, most economical and compact alternative. Read more in my article "White Balance for more Beauty, Part 3" here.

 

The Lumu Power combined color meter and light meter

LUMU made a lightmeter that works with iPhone some years ago, and have now made a light meter that is also a color meter. Pretty brilliant, actually.

 

The Lumo Power color meter ships worldwide and comes in this nice box.
The Lumo Power color meter ships worldwide and comes in this nice box.

 

TheThe Lumo Power color meter (this side) and light meter( the other side) conncts to iPhone.
The Lumo Power color meter (this side) and light meter (the other side) conncts to iPhone.

 

White Balancing [WB]

Much of the discussion about the colors and the auto white balance of the digital cameas is caused by the misunderstanding that a camera can do the work for you. It cannot. If you want precise colors, you must control the colors, not leave it to the camera. Once you do, the colors are actually very good.

WhiBal G7 Pocket KitThe WhiBal card is the proper way for doing manual white balance.

WhiBal is not a greycard
WhiBal is light grey - don't get it confused with a greycard for light metering which is a middlegrey card.

The greycard for light metering is a middlegrey card reflecting 18% which is what you would use to measure the amount of light (all light meters base their readings on what they expect to be a scenery that are all-together middlegrey, hence the problem with bright or dark sceneries that gets over- or underexposed).

Read my article "White balancing for more beauty" for details on how to use it.

 

Using a WhiBal card is the easiest and most direct way to get accurate colors. You use it first to set the right balance in the camera (not in Lightroom after). This way the colors are instantly right and you may correct just a little bit. Read my article "White balancing for more beauty" for details on how to use it.
Using a WhiBal card is the easiest and most direct way to get accurate colors. You use it first to set the right balance in the camera (not in Lightroom after). This way the colors are instantly right and you may correct just a little bit. Read my article "White balancing for more beauty" for details on how to use it.

 


Getting the colors right is not difficult if you control it by using manual white balance. But if you shuffle around with auto white balance, the cameras sensor will pick up any neutral tone and determine all colors base on that. It's not that it can't work, it is just not very good control on your part. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95, Jakarta December 2013. © 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.


The WhiBal greycard is 11% or something reflective, so it's not for light metering.

The point is that the grey is neutral grey, meaning it doesn't contain any warm or cold colors. And that is what makes it perfect for manual white balancing as the Leica M needs something neutral so as to adjust the light temperature (Kelvin) to neutral white (daylight colors).

You can also use a white wall, a white cloth, a white piece of paper or something other white or grey. But paper differs in temperature and is seldom neutral.

If you don't have any greycard with you, go ahead and use any white surface. But if you want a standardized and consistent workflow where you can trust and predict things, you use the same piece of paper or plastic each time. Hence the WhiBal.

How to set manual white balance on the Leica M: Watch this video.

The X-Rite ColorChecker
You can view a video on how to do it and read more about White Balancing in my article "White Balancing for More Beauty" to find out more about what it is and how to obtain true and pleasant colors in your photos. It's a very misunderstood subject. The G7 Pocket Kit above in credit card size is a good start, and get one extra (they tend to get lost). I would recommend getting one of those, and then one of the sets where you get a Pocket Size G7 and a larger G6 for the camera bag or home. Then you have three cards.

 

       
 

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The revival of the color meter

The Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster and the Kenko KCM-3100 came out in March 2015 after we haven't seen color meters made for a few years. I have become a little obsessed with colors laterly, so I got both of them.

 

The Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster and the Kenko KCM-3100. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.
The Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster and the Kenko KCM-3100. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

The Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster is a color meter as advanced as they come. With an iPhone-like screen for custom setting the menu and some hard-core features it takes measuring colors to a new level. In the context of Leica M still photography it brings a little more accurate colors - which one has to weight up against the size and price. For advanced photography with more than one light source, using color gels to adjust the lamps, and/or filters in front of the lens (as in a film set), it makes total sense.

One of the things you can measure with the C-700 SpectroMaster is the quality of the light source. If for example a Tungsten lamp is missing reds. This is something you can't adjust in the camera but something you may adjust in the editing of the photograph. And it may explain why you just can't hit the right colors some times. Price is $1,498 at BH Photo.

I have this one and wrote this article using it with the Leica M240.

 

Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700
I have the Sekonic SpectroMaster C-700. Price is $1,498 at BH Photo. Next to it, the WhiBal grey card that is the economical and compact alternative.

 

The Kenko KCM-3100 is a much simpler and much more sturdy color meter for on the road. It simply gives you the Kelvin number that you can tap into the Leica M in the Kelvin Number setting. It's very simple to use, and very fast.



I also have the Kenko KCM-3100 color meter. Price is $799 at BH Photo.
I also have the Kenko KCM-3100 color meter. Price is $799 at BH Photo.

 

X-Rite color adjustment

  X-Rite color checker and middle grey white balance checker
  The neutral gray palette in the small black X-Rite "passport checker" which contains the color palette as well (see photo below).
Read my article The Right Colors [PART II] about the X-Rite, as well as video tutorial.
   

If you want to make sure that the colors in the real world are in real sync with the rest of your workflow, what you can do is use the X-Rite color palette with accompanying software.

Which in essence mean that you bring a real color palette to the real world, photograph it with your Leica M, and then measure it in Lightroom so that the software can adjust the overall images(s) to the exact colors.

The X-Rite also contains a middlegrey page for manual white balancing.

So with the small plastic "passport checker" you can open up on the middle-grey first and make sure the white balance is correct, then you fold the page and get the color checker which you photograph. In Lightroom you can then adjust colors automatically, as well as create a camera profile.

In reality, there is not much gained with it. As many of the X-Rite product, the idea behind is so complicated that it doesn't really work. They promote accurate colors but are really bad in explaining how to get them. It's a lot of work and uncertainty in the real world where light conditions, lighting sources and all changes. In a controlled studio environment - yes. But outside, not really. See my article The Right Colors [PART II]

The X-Rite ColorChecker
The X-Rite ColorChecker card. They don't grow on trees, it's just that there weren't any hot redheads nearby to assist in holding it. Read my article The Right Colors [PART II] about the X-Rite, as well as video tutorial.

 

The right colors on your computer screen

You should calibrate your computer screen(s) to get accurate colors. It's fairly easy and not expensive if you follow my little guide in this article, "How to calibrate your computer screen".


The purpose of calibrating your monitor is to get a standard that doesn't change. Read my guide and article here, "How to calibrate your computer screen".

 

The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 LHSA Black Lacquer Limited Edition (Nov 2017) with the E39 ventilated shade by Thorsten von Overgaard, and Breakthrough Photography 3-stop neutral density "X4-ND" filter 46mm. The E39 ventilated shade has an E46 filter screw in the front).
The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 LHSA Black Lacquer Limited Edition (Nov 2017) with the E39 ventilated shade by Thorsten von Overgaard, and Breakthrough Photography 3-stop neutral density "X4-ND" filter 46mm. The E39 ventilated shade has an E46 filter screw in the front).

 

Neutral Density filters to utilize your lightstrong lenses

When you have a really lightstrong lens as a f/1.4 or 0.95, and even a f/2.0, you will want to be able to photograph with it wide open. What else is the point in having it?

The Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 is a good example that light-strong lenses are not just a matter of low light. A lot of people used to buy Noctilux (which means "King of the Night") to be able to photograph in low light. It does that too, but what is really amazing is how the lens treats light wide open. And that could be said for all the Leica lenses. The philosophy and technology behind the Leica lens design is something special.

Hence a Noctilux treats strong light and dark shadows really well, except that a camera as the Leica that has a base ISO of 200 (Leica M 240) or 100 (Leica M10) and a maximum shutter time at 1/4000 second won't let the Noctilux sparkle in sunshine. Unless you work at f/2.8 - f/4.0 in sunshine your exposure will be blown out.

 


My collection of ND filters from TIFFEN, Breakthrough Photography, B+W, Hoya and more. I use a cheap black filter vallet from BH Photo.

 

That is why you need ND-filters for all your lenses. Sunglasses for the lens. Use them as protection when you travel with the lenses in a bag (then you also have the filter handy). Have the filter on in the daytime, and put it in a soft pocket where you don't have keys or coins in the evening. Put it on again before you go to bed so it is ready next day.

See the section about "Further on light metering: Using ND filters" on this page for more on what to get.

 

Neutral Density filters © Thorsten Overgaard
Some of my ND-filters for different lenses.

Stops: The many names for the same ND-filters: Light reduced to:
1-stop ND 0.3 ND 2X ND2 1-BL 50%
2-stop ND 0.6  ND 4X ND4 2-BL 25%
3-stop ND 0.9 ND 8X ND8

3-BL

12.5%
4-stop ND 1.2 ND 12X ND12 4-BL 6.25%
6-stop ND 1.8 ND 64X ND64 6-BL 1.56%
  ND 2.0 ND 100X ND100   1%
10-stop ND 3.0  ND 1000X ND1000 10-BL 0.1%
1-6 stop variable ND 0.3 - 1.8 ND 2X - 64X ND0.3 - 1.8 1 - 6 BL 50% - 1.56%

 

 

"Jaywalking in the People's Republic" gives an idea how a wide open lightstrong Leica lens treats highlight and shadow. With Leica M 240 and Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 and B+W Neutral Density filter. © 2014 Thorsten Overgaard.
"Jaywalking in the People's Republic" gives an idea how a wide open lightstrong Leica lens treats highlight and shadow. With Leica M 240 and Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 and B+W Neutral Density filter. © 2014 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leica ND-filters

In 2016 Leica started delivering their own ND-filters for a series of lenses. The 60mm 4-stop (16X) ND-filter fits the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 perfect. That it is 4-stop makes it suitable for also the Leica MM and Leica M 246 Monochrom where the sensor's base ISO is 320. With a 4-stop ND filter in sunshine you can stay exactly at 320 ISO, 1/4000 second and f/0.95 and get the exposure right. With a Leica M 240 where the base ISO is 200, it would be 1/3000 second at f/0.95.

The filter seems to have a little smaller metal edge than others, which is relevant for the Noctilux so as to make sure not to get the filter ring in the corners of the image. In practical use it seems not to have any importance.

 

Leica ND filter:   B+W ND filter:   No ND-filter:
Leica ND filter:   B+W ND filter:   No ND-filter:
The three images show the 25% of the upper top left frame of the image. As can be seen, botht he filters affect the corners, as well as the colors.

 

 

Brakthrough Photography's X4 Neutral Density Filters

The San Francisco-based company Breakthrough Photography makes the probably best ND filters available, the model "X4-ND" which comes as 3-stop, 6-stop and 10-stop. You need the 3-stop edition. The owner decided to cater to Leica lenses, and that is why you can now find their filers in more and more of the sizes that fits Leica lenses. I use their 46mm 3-stop filter and appreciate the built quality and the optimum filter itself.

They make the X2 and X4 model, of which the X4 is the premium model. So if you want to go perfection, go Breakthrough X4.

Genrrally you could say that ND filters will work fine, no matter which brand or quality you use. Despite differences in how accurately the filter is actually 3-stop or whatever it is, and despite color cast in the glass, once the ND filter is in front of the lens, it's part of what the internal light meter and white balance adjusts for.

 

The San Francisco-based company Breakthrough Photography makes the probably best ND filters available. Here it is their X4-ND in 46mm 3-stop.
The San Francisco-based company Breakthrough Photography makes the probably best ND filters available. Here it is their X4-ND in 46mm 3-stop.

 

 

Polish your camera with art

 
  Kelnet in France makes microfiber cloths with famous paintings - or your own photos
   

I always carry a microfiber cloth in a pocket, and one in every bag. It's the same you use for prescription glasses, and they can be washed and dried when they get too oily and greasy.

Kelnet in France makes some nice small ones (5x5 inch, 13 x 13 cm) with fancy motifs.

If you want to be real fancy, you can get them to custom make microfiber cloths with your own photo and name.

Leica also does some white Leica microfiber cloths with a red Leica logo that they sometimes give away. You may ask in the Leica Store.

Some dealers, like Camera Electronics in Perth, Australia, have their own microfiber cloths they give away to customers. For free, and often with a homemade coffee as well.

 

The Kyoto Only polishing cloth

Leica Store Kyoto has a few special items that are unique for that store. One of them is the Leica Store Kyoto Polishing Cloth that is microfiber and extra large. Suitable for polishing both lenses, cameras and your glasses. Price is around $20 (2,800 Yen).


The Leica Store Kyoto Polishing Cloth

 

Adobe Lightroom for editing your images

Lightroom is the workflow software to use to edit images. When I say workflow, I mean an editing tool where you can import 100 or 500 pictures and work on them and batch export the final selections in different sizes. Fast, effective, the standard.

 

 
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250 pages on how to set up a photography workflow, from calibrating the screen to editing in Lightroom. How to deal with Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom CC Classic. How to organize files, back up, use DAM (Digital Asset Management) catalogs and Photoshop. Read more here

Video tutorials, image files, presets, checklists, definitions, tutorials of Lightroom, Media Pro 1 and Photoshop that boils down years of experience to a workflow you can implement in less than one day.

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Thorsten von Overgaard editing on Eizo
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The smell of film


If you miss the smell of film, Fabien Barbazan is able to hand make a strap with film rolls. It will convince people that the digital Leica around your neck is in fact a film camera.

 

 

 

Participate in an Overgaard Workshop or Masterclass

You may also fancy a Overgaard Workshop so we can meet. And you will meet a handful of other dedicated Leica fans who want to use their equipment to the fullest.


More reviews in the bottom of the page.

I have three statistics of my workshops that make me proud. One is that 30% sign up for two or more workshops and continue a relationship of improving over a longer period. The other thing I am proud of is that the number of women with their own Leica attending my workshops has gone up from one out of 30 two years ago to more than 20% in the last six months.

But one thing that is really good is that quite many of my workshop students start sharing their photos online, have exhibitions and make photo books. Very few have a wish to become professional, but the few that have had that wish have made it well after the workshops. In general, you will almost with guarantee make many more photographs after the workshop, and you will enjoy your equipment and photography more.

 


More about Thorsten Overgaard Workshops: Click here! - Video Review of the Overgaard Workshop.

 

Leica Monochrom Masterclass

For more info on Paris Masterclass, have a look here:

 

 

Literature about Leica cameras, lenses and history

Erwin Puts has written and compiled the big Leica Compendium with Leica history, lens history, camera history, serial numbers and much more. In just six months this highly specialized book went into print three times. Available at the Erwin Puts website.

Many of his publications are now available as eBooks for immediate download. The great thing is that you can then search in them!

Also Erwin Puts published the companion book, called the Leica Practicum by end of 2012. The Leica Practicum covers a number of major themes: An investigation into the art of Leica photography and how it differs from photography in general, a round-up of the status of chemical photography, a review of the state-of-the-art of digital imagery and of course the important topic of the intrinsic differences between digital and analog photography, and finally an in-depth treatment of the use of the Leica rangefinder camera, illustrated by the Leica MP and the M9-P for the analog and digital workflow.

 

 

 

Leica M10 memory stick USB


Buy this cute 16GB memory stick in the shape of the Leica M10 while you might still have some USB ports to put it into (it's all chaning to Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C soon).
Buy this cute 16GB memory stick in the shape of the Leica M10 while you might still have some USB ports to put it into (it's all chaning to Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C soon).

 

 

You need a good computer for editing digital photos. Amsterdam cafe. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
You need a good computer for editing digital photos. Amsterdam cafe. © 2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.


Computer power for digital photography

Throughout the year I meet a lot of photographers, and when it comes to editing images, a powerful computer, and preferable a Mac, is quite important.

 

Get a Mac

You got to have an Apple MacBook for images. A PC, no matter how fancy and expensive just can't keep up. When others are editing away on their images, the PC user stills try to get the PC to work. And when we show pictures, the PC screens show them in wrong colors (they usually have problems reaching all the way from bright to black; it is always bluish grey-in-grey images we are looking at).

As times change, if you move to Capture One for editing (requires less computer power), and you can find a screen that actually work, PC can work. I'm modifying my stand on this because in the last five years, Apple have made some strange choices while Microsoft has developed some interesting portable computers with pencils and good screens. But if you want to make an easy choice that works, "Get a Mac" is still valid.



Brenda Di Bari from Rome editing at the floor (nearby the power outlet) in my London workshop.

 

Get the biggest Mac

The purpose of computers is to have them work for you. They are supposed to help you perform more stuff faster and better. This might sound stange in an age where you need a personal assistant to keep your apps on your devices updated. But the reason for computers was not to keep the user busy or entertain them, it is a tool to get work done. So that's the first thing to judge a computer or device on: "Will it make things effective?" rather than if it looks cute. It's not a pet.

When you start downloading 16GB, 32GB and 128GB memory cards with hundreds of images, you need computer power. If the computer is three years old, you will have to sit and wait for the preview to load of each image. That will work if it's five images, but when you work with a hundred or more, you want it to appear instant on the screen so you can move 24MP files as fast as you think.

Look at the fastest model, and then how to "spec it out" with faster processor, larger hard drive and more RAM. That's what I mean with "Get the biggest Mac". Then when the next updated model comes 2-18 months later, sell this and get the noew one. Stay with the fastest possible model and sell the previous while it is still possible to get a good second-hand price for it.

 


Editing images in London. Photo by Matthias Frei.

 

Hard Drives

We are almost there ... in few years all external harddrives are going to be small and super fast flash-ram or SSD. But for now, you need backup and portable drives to put your images onto. You can't have everything on your MacBook, not even with a 1TB or 2TB drive.

 

Workflow

A workflow is like clean socks every morning, or that you either print your boarding pass, or have it on your phone. As you move on you learn what is the easiest, and that's how you do things. It's the habit of how you do things. Just as you have a habit of how to get on clean sock in the morning without having to chase around the house to find or not find some, you need a habit of working routine for digital files.

My workflow is to work on the MacBook Pro till I'm done selecting, editing and have exported final images for my photo archive. Three different sizes with keywords, ready to use. Then I then export all images related to that event to external drives and clean out my computer. Just as I don't travel with a suitcase with all my original negatives and slide film, I don't travel with all my digital negatives on my computer.

How to work fast, organized and being able to find and use any picture I ever made, no matter where in the world I am, is a workflow I developed over the last 10+ years of using digital cameras. It's described in my Lightroom Survival Kit and my Cature One Survival Kit.

 

Lightroom Survival Kit

 

You need to rethink your workflow so you can move around your growing archive through technology shifts and - obviously - change from (what will in the future be) older harddrives to new larger harddrives. In other words, you can't have one archive centrally with strings to external harddrives that must be reorganized every 2-5 years. You must plan so you can seamlessly transform from one drive to another without having to spend hours, days or weeks reorganizing your files.

 

Work simply on a laptop when on the road, and offload to external drives when back home. Here's my hotel room in Jakarta. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux. © 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard
Work simply on a laptop when on the road, and offload to external drives when back home. Here's my hotel room in Jakarta. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux. © 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard

 

 

     
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which computer do I need for photography?

Here are recommendations for your next computer, before or after a Thorsten Overgaard Workshop: Apple computers are far the best for photography workflow. Even if you work with a PC for work, consider an Apple for your photography.

Generally, I recommend getting the fastest MacBook Pro available, and with the 15" Retina screen. And change it every 18-36 months to stay in the loop with the fastest technology (things change so fast that a 3 year old computer tends to be really slow).

 

Cosy moment with the Apple MacBook Pro 15" Retina, LaCie 4TB hard drive and the Leiac M-D 262 digital rangefinder. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.  

 

Speed comparison of MacBook Pro using Lightroom:

Which is fastest for Lightroom? This is how big a difference there is working with Lightroom 6.x. This test was performed with 346 DNG files from 24MP camera (= size 20-30 MB each):

    MacBook Air 11
(Mid 2013)

1.7 Ghz i7
processor
512 GB
hard drive
Intel 1.5 GB
1 Thunderbolt
2 USB
$1,700 in 2013

  MacBook Pro 15"
(Late 2013)

2.6 Ghz i7
Quad processor
1 TB
hard drive
NVIDIA
750M 2 GB
2 Thunderbolt
2 USB 3
SD-card reader
$3,300 in 2013
 

MacBook Pro 15"
(Mid 2015)

2.8 Ghz i7
Quad processor
1 TB
hard drive
AMD 2GB
2 Thunderbolt
2 USB 3
SD-card reader
$3,100 in 2016
B&H Photo / Amazon

  MacBook Pro 13"
(Late 2016)

2.9 Ghz i5
Duo processor
512GB
hard drive
8GB RAM
Iris Graphics 550
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$1,899 in 2017
B&H Photo
  MacBook Pro 13"
(Late 2016)

3.3 Ghz i7
Duo processor
1 TB
hard drive
16GB RAM
Iris Graphics 550 2GB
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$2,899 in 2017
B&H Photo
  MacBook Pro 15"
(Late 2016)

2.9 Ghz i7
Quad processor
2 TB
hard drive
16GB RAM
AMD Radeon Pro 460 GPU 4GB
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$4,299 in 2017
B&H Photo
Import into Lightroom 6
of 346 DNG files from SD-card
  11:31 min
(External
USB reader)
  2:14 min
(built-in SD reader)
  1:54 min
(built-in SD reader)
  9:54 min
(USB to USB-C dongle)
  7:53 min
(USB to USB-C dongle)
  2:11 min
(External
USB-C reader)
Making 1:1 previews
of 346 DNG files
  26:34 min   21:32 min   11:48 min   17:43 min   17:08 min   13:40 min
Export of files **
(346 web-sized JPG's)
  24:16 Min   4:44 Min   3:12 Min   7:33 Min   7:30 min   3:45 min
Total waiting time
for import, preview and export of 346 pictures **
  62:21 Min   28:30 Min   16:54 Min   35:10 Min   32:31 Min   19:36 Min
SSD hard drive/Flash Memory
read/write/copy speed *
  200MB/sec   800MB/sec   2000MB/sec   1900MB/sec   1950MB/sec   1950MB/sec
Delay in showing a full-size preview in Develop Mode *
  3-5 Sec   0.3 Sec   0.1 Sec   2.0 Sec   2.0 Sec   1,2 Sec
* = When you edit in Lightroom on a computer, the computer depend on the hard drive and not the processor/RAM to show previews immediately.
** = Export of files in other sizes than original uses the processor to resize the files.

 

Big screen

If you want to work on a large screen at home, I recommend getting one or two external screens that connects to your MacBook Pro, rather than having a "large computer" at home and a "small computer" for travel. It's much easier to have just one computer and not having to sync two computers; and you can invest the money in one really fast computer.

 

Workspace with two 30" Apple Cinema screens run by a MacBook Pro. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
Workspace with two 30" Apple Cinema screens run by a MacBook Pro. © 2014-2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Always buy the fastest model available

No matter which MacBook model you buy, upgrade the processor to the fastest possible model, and upgrade the hard drive to the largest available.

In the MacBook Air series, they usually come with an i5 processor, but upgrading to the i7 will increase the speed for photography workflow 4X and only cost $100.

The MacBook 12" is cute, has a great screen, but is also the slowest model for photography workflow. My mother has one and loves it, but she's 70 years old and only uses it for e-mail and online banking.

If you visit an Apple store and compare the 13" MacBook Air with the 15" MacBook Pro, you will realize that there's not much difference in size. So why not get the computer with the largest screen and most speed?

Even I travel 49 of the years 52 weeks, I've choosen the MacBook Pro 15" every time, and I've picked the fastest model available every time. I travel with my computer, but I never really carry it around. I park it in a hotel or apartment, and when I travel to the next place I put it in my bag until I arrive in the next hotel. Only if you always (or often) carry your computer around town with you does it makes sense to get a smaller model.

Currently, the MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2016) with 2.9 Ghz and 2TB hard drive may be the choice for slick design, better screen and the 2TB hard drive. But in terms of speed, the previous 2015 model is actually 14% faster for Lightroom.

Currently, the new MacBook Pro 15" (Mid 2017) with 3.1 Ghz and 2TB hard drive ($4,299 at BH Photo) is likely to the first of the new MacBook Pro's that is actaully faster than the previous silver 2015 model. I will test it as soon as I can.

With it the new MacBook Pro's (Late 2016 and Mid 2017 models) comes the pain of new Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connections and no SD-card reader built-in. An upgraded MacBook Pro 15" are expected to be announced in October 2017 with faster specifications (but still with four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connections).

 

LaCie 5TB harddrive USB-C   LaCie 4Tb harddrive USB3 with USB-C dongle
LaCie 5TB harddrive USB-C   LaCie 4TB harddrive USB3 with USB-C dongle

 

Design

The MacBook Pro (late 2016 and Mid 2017) does have a slick design. After having looked at Joy using a less-than-impressive in terms of speed 13"' for some weeks, I started looking at my 2015 macbook as a clunky device. The fingerprint opening of the new MacBook is a nice feature together with other things that makes the Late 2016 and Mid 2017 model a pleasure to use.

The four similar connections is a freedom, once you get harddrives, SD-card readers, SD-card readers and all that connects to the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. And unlike the iPhone, it still has a mini jack for headphones!

 

No more SD-card reader in the Late 2016 and Mid 2017 MacBook computers

  StarTech USB-C cardreader for SD-cards
  StarTech SD-card reader is $30 at BH PHoto
   

Apple doesn't even make or sell (in the Apple Store) a SD card reader, so you have to visit BH Photo, Amazon or eBay to find a third party SD card reader that goes into the USB-C plug, or a traditional SD card reader with USB and use a USB-C to USB3 dongle.

Using a USB 3 card reader via a dongle is extremely slow. There are more and more USB-C readers available. The one I got is the StarTech ($30).

Then a few weeks later, I got the SanDisk USB-C reader, and that one is better:

 

The SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C readers does the job.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C reader does the job. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

 

USB-C is not the same as Thunderbolt 3

The plug for USB-C is the same as for Thunderbolt 3. The confusion on this is so great that the staff in the Apple Store doesn't always know. They will claim it is the same speed. It's not. Thunderbolt 3 is four times faster than USB-C, and that is important when buying a new hard drive: LaCie makes hard drives with USB-C (USB 3.1) connections and Thunderbolt 3 connections for this reason, but many portable drives have just USB-C connection. USB-C speed is rated as 10GB/sec and Thunderbolt 3 is rated as 40GB/sec. This is so little known, most will claim USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is the same connection and speed (though it was specified in the 40 page document following the release of the MacBook Late 2016).

Thunderbolt 3 hard drives
Hard drives with USB-C are not the same as Thunderbolt 3. The LaCie 6TB, 8TB and 10TB d2 drives are the first ones with real Thunderbolt 3 cables and speeds.


My LaCie 10TB drives with one USB-C connection (top) and two Thunderbolt 3 connections below. The cables for USB-C (has a USB-symbol) and Thunderbolt 3 (has a thunder synbol and 3) are different.
My LaCie 10TB drives with one USB-C connection (top) and two Thunderbolt 3 connections. The cables for USB-C (has a USB-symbol) and Thunderbolt 3 (has a thunder synbol and 3) are different. I have numbers on by hard drives, on front and back, as well as how big the drives are. After a while you can't remember which dive is which, and how much space it has.

 

Look at performance, don't listen to the hype

When the new MacBook Pro was announced, it was announced as "Metal on all four sides" and "17% thinner than the previous model" and so on. That's how they sold us Thunderbolt some years ago and that's how the MacBook 12" may sound great (even it is the worst for picture editing).

It's difficult to not get enthusiastic about the new, but make speed comparisons before you go get it all.

 

Which external hard drives do I need for photography?

You need external hard drives for storage, and you need two so one is your storage, the other is your backup of that. In other words, you always buy two, four, six or eight hard drives at a time.

Portable hard drives have a live span of 12-18 months before you want to replace them with a bigger one. You think they will last forever, but your need for storage grows faster than you think. The good news is that price of hard drive space drops with the same speed as your need more space.

 

This is how big (or little) a difference there is between USB and Thunderbolt
(tested with Blackmagic Sped Test):

    USB 3
portable
hard drive

2 TB from
BH Photo / Amazon
4 TB from
BH Photo / Amazon

 

Thunderbolt
portable
hard drive

4 TB from
BH Photo
/ Amazon

  USB-C
portable
hard drive

LaCie
Porsche
2TB
  Thunderbolt
2
desktop
hard drive
LaCie 6TB
  Thunderbolt 3
desktop
hard drive
LaCie 10TB
Read/write/copy speed *
  75 MB/sec   80 MB/sec
           
Read/write/copy speed with MacBook USB-C (Late 2016) via dongle to USB 3
  75 MB/sec   80 MB/sec
           
Read/write/copy speed with MacBook USB-C/Thunderbolt 3
(Late 2016/Mid 2017)
          USB-C
cable
103MB/sec
  T2 cable
via USB-C dongle
137MB/sec
  T3 cable
117MB/sec
* = Specifications of USB 3.1 says they can do 1,250MB/sec and specifications of Thunderbolt 2 says 2,500MB/sec. That's in theory. If you test them on your machine with a free program like Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, you will see the actual value ((which of course depends as well on your machine's hard drive (5400 RMP or 7200 ROM or SSD). Specifications for FireWire 400 said 100-400MB/sec and FireWire 800 said 800MB/sec.

 

As you can see, the extra price of Thunderbolt external hard drives (usually $100-$200 per hard drive) isn't warranted by the 6% faster speed compared to USB 3. Thunderbolt 3 is greatly improved speed compared to USB-C.

With new MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2016 model) that has only four Thunderbolt 3 conncetions (which are the same as USB-C that the MacBook 12" introduced), you don't really have a choice. You can use converters for a while, but all future things you buy should be directed towards Thunderbolt 3 (when Thunderbolt came out, you could get FireWire to Thunderbolt converters, and they work; but you want clean cables without having to use converters).

 

My portable hard drives are currently 4TB LaCie Rugged (USB3) and 2TB Western Digital (USB3).
My portable hard drives are currently 4TB LaCie Rugged (USB3) and 2TB Western Digital (USB3) and 5TB Thunderbolt 3 (same connector as USB-C).

 

Remember, you will buy a new one anyways in 12-18 months. Go with USB 3if you can, and don't spend much time reconsidering this decision until portable SSD hard drives come down into a reasonable price range. (There will be coming a new type of SSD hard drives that you can expand unlimited - e-mail me for more info on this so you get a notice when they are available). 

Make sure to avoid portable hard drives that require external power supply! Not much compactness in having a small drive that needs a power supply. A portable hard drive should be powered by the USB or Thunderbolt cable. 

I use Western Digital 2TB portable hard drives (BH Photo / Amazon) and LaCie 4TB USB3 hard drives (BH Photo / Amazon).

 

 

Desktop hard drives are a little different in that they last for 3-5 years. Then you want to upgrade them to larger ones because you need more space and the connections becomes obsolete. FireWire 400 (invented 1995) and FireWire 800 (introduced 2009) have died out. Again, time works for you, the price of a top-of-the-line 120 GB hard drive in 2000 was $400 back then, and a 6,000 GB hard drive today costs $400 as well. 

 

This is how big (or small) a difference there is between FireWire 800 and USB3:

    FireWire 800
hard drive

 

USB 3
hard drive

Read/write/copy speed *
  71 MB/sec   75 MB/sec

 

The lesson on FireWire, USB, Thunderbolt and the new Apple USB-C Port is that it's the size of the connections that change dramatically, not so much the speed. But the hype with each new type makes you buy new equipment, and that's the main feature.

 

Some of my external hard drives. FireWire/Thunderbolt in the background, USB backup drives on the front, and USB3 portable hard drives for travel.
Some of my external hard drives. FireWire/Thunderbolt in the background, USB backup drives on the front, and USB3 portable hard drives for travel.

 

USB desktop hard drives vs
Thunderbolt desktop hard drives

You can set up several USB 3 external hard drives via an $18 USB 3.1 Hub so they are all connected at the same time. As the Hub provides power as well, you can actually go with portable drives instead of the Desktop hard drives (that all requires a separate power supply). If you don't depend on speed but use the connected hard drives for archiving (and photo editing, video editing, etc. on the much faster internal SSD/Flash Memory), this is actually worth considering. The USB hub also can charge iPhones and stuff.  

Thunderbolt hard drives can be connected in "daiseychain" which means you have one cable going out of the Mac to the first hard drive, then a Thunderbolt from that to the next and from that to the next. They are all connected this way, although it requires that the desktop hard drive needs two Thunderbolt connections (one in and one out).  

One of the problems with Thunderbolt is that the cables go black for no reason. They simply stop working. Some times, after some weeks of rest they may work normally again. If you have a rather complicated setup of drives it's annoying to locate the faulty cable and replace it. Others have reported that Thunderbolt cables caused errors that wiped their hard drives. All in all, it's an easy technology but not a very stable one. We all got into it because "Thunderbolt" sounds so cool, and it's the future (and who doesn't want to be in that?). 

  Sanho 5-in-1 hub for MacBook USB-C is necessary in order to plug in more than one thing. It's a mess..!
  Sanho 5-in-1 hub for MacBook USB-C is necessary in order to plug in more than one thing. It's a mess..!
   

Next thing will be USB-C which was introduced on the MacBook 12" in 2015 and that's also what is on the new redesigned MacBook Pro (Late 2016), wich they call Thunderbolt 3 on that one. (It has 4 Thunderbolt 3 connections and nothing else).

Thunderbolt 3 read/write 4X faster than USB-C even they plugs look the same. If you connect a USB hard drive via the USB>USB-C dongle, the speed will obviously be that of the slowest cable.

In the MacBook 12" it's very unpractical as it is the one and only connection for power, hard drives, scanners, phones and all. "Be careful what you wish for", as the Apple CEO said about that feature.

I have Thunderbolt desktop hard drives and USB 3 backup hard drives. The most recent desktop hard drives I've bought have been the LaCie 6TB Thunderbolt model and the most recent backup hard drives I bought was four 5TB hard drives with USB.

 

Do what seems most practical. As long as you have backup of your hard drives, the problems will never be bigger than what you can overcome. I very much buy hard drives the same way I buy Xerox paper:  the price per pack for 500 sheets of Xerox paper, and the price for a 1TB hard drive. I simply make a piece of paper where I list and compare the current models: Speed, Connections, price per TB). If I had smaller storage needs, I would use portable hard drives only. Nice, easy and compact. 

As I don't expect any of my desktop hard drives to be with me for more than 3-5 years, I don't invest in one large system or one large 30TB hard drive. I buy a hard drive that will keep me going for a while; and in 6-9 months when I need more space, I compare and get the next one.

 

Price comparison of hard drives (July 2016):

    USB 3:

  Thunderbolt:   Thunderbolt 3:
LaCie 5TB Rugged
portable HD
          $65 per 1 TB
BH Photo
WD 2TB portable HD
  $42 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
       
LaCie 4 TB Rugged
portable HD
  $55 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
  $95 per 1 TB
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Concentrate with shade on the screen

The DigiShade Lite from DigiSystem is meant for working in sunshine out in the field but also works in the office, making it easier to see and concentrate on the imagers on the screen you are editing. It clips onto the top of the screen with the built-in magnets that the Apple screens have, and then simply rests on the sides.

It comes for 13" and 15", and despite having been designed for the 2015 models (and sits very tight on those), they also works on the 2016 and 2017 models of the MacBook Pro. Price is about $110, the material is metal-looking hard plastic that folds so it may fit in a labtop bag, together twith the computer.

 

DigiShade Lite 15" on my MacBook Pro 2016. Around $110 fron BH Photo. $110 from Amazon.
DigiShade Lite 15" on my MacBook Pro 2016. Around $110 fron BH Photo. $110 from Amazon.

 

 

 
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Fungus protection

 
  Fungus looks like this.
It's organisms feeding on organic matter.
   

B+W have made a genius product to prevent fungus in lenses and cameras. It looks complicate, but it might be necessasry if you live in a place where lenses easily gets fungus.

In quite a few places on the planet, the humidity and high temperature is a problem. Lens optics (and optics in cameras) can get fungus, which is a living organism that attack and eats the glass. In the very beginning it can be fixed, some say, with peroxide or UV light.

I had a lens I bought from a friend in the Philippines, and when I sent it to Leica Camera AG for 6-bit coding, it had a little bit of fungus. They won't allow any lenses with fungus into the factory, but they had a facility in Hamburg that could treat it in 6-8 weeks, and after that they dealt with the coding.

The problem with fungus is that it keeps eating the glass, and it can even spread to other lenses. So photographers in most Asian countries know to have their equipment stored dry and warm.

You've seen the small white packages that always are enclosed with photographic equipment. They are supposed to suck up the humidity. Fungus-prevention.

Now B+W have invented this rather complicated product that is a way to protect the expensive and beloved lenses.

eBay have written an informative article about fungus here.

For us who live in more lens-friendly climates, there is only few things to be aware of:
1) Avoid storing lenses in humid leather pouches.
2) Avoid storing lenses in dark and humid places.
3) Be aware of possible fungus in lenses you buy that have been living their life in Asia.
4) Get tid of lenses with fungus; don't have them nearby your healthy lenses.

 

B+W UV-PRO for lenses and cameras.
B+W UV-PRO from Schneider for lenses and cameras.

 

 

         
 

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Cool attitude

One of the things you must also get for your Leica is a cool attitude.

One of the things you must also get for your Leica M 240 is a cool attitude. As Joe Nattapol Suphawong here in Bangkok.
One of the things you must also get for your Leica M is a cool attitude. As Joe Nattapol Suphawong here in Bangkok.

 

 

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Music on the road

- Dali Kubik Free, Master & Dynamic, Shure and Fendi Beats

I've had a few Jambox loudspeakers back in 2012, the small Bluetooth speakers that has a much larger sound than their physical size. Unfortunately, they tend to fall on the floor and self-destruct, so those are in my past (the base would make the speaker move, and suddenly it landed on the floor).

 

Beoplay A2
Bang & Olufsen B&O Beoplay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker

The next thing I got was the Bang & Olufsen B&O Beoplay A2 portable bluetooth speaker. It's larger than the Jambox, a little heavier, but amazingly portable with a handstrap and 2 x 30W amplifier! The sound is impressive and almost unreal big for a speaker this size.

What I use it for?

We use it when we do photo shoots and model shoots and need some Beyonce or sexy music to set the mood for the shoot. And I use it in hotel rooms and apartments. It's a decision of course if one want to fill up a stripe of space in the suitcase with a loudspeaker, but in my case it makes sense. I like to travel with very few thing, but things of importance or things I like. The Beoplay A2 is $399 from the Apple Store.

 

A more compact B&O speaker

In May 2016 Joy Villa got a Beoplay A1 for model shoots, which is an even more compact Bluetooth speaker than the Beoplay A2.


Beoplay A1 with Joy Villa in the gym
Joy's Beoplay A1 in the gym with her. It's small and portable (600g).

 

The bigger speaker, the bigger sound

The bigger sound you want, the bigger the speaker gets. The cleaner sound, the heavier it gets. So while Joy went with the B&O compact Beoplay A1, I went the other way and got a DALI Kubik Free active Bluetooth speaker for travel. It's for travel, but it needs to be plugged to power. It doesn't have a battery.

My DALI Kubik Free (with the travel bag it comes with in the background) on it's first gig as my workshop sound in Berlin. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0. Ulike most bluetooth speakers it's not actually meant to stand out in the open. The sound and feeling of a large room improves greatly when it's placed with a wall behind it. It can play really REALLY LOUD without loosing a beat.
My DALI Kubik Free (with the travel bag it comes with in the background) on its first gig as my workshop sound in Berlin. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0. Unlike most Bluetooth speakers it's not actually meant to stand out in the open. The sound and feeling of a large room improves greatly when it's placed with a wall behind it. It can play really REALLY LOUD without losing a beat.

 

I've known the Danish factory Dali Speakers for quite a few years. I've used their DALI Skyline 1000 at home for many years. I find their sound philosophy very agreeable with what I stand for. Which in many ways is the same as in photography: Simplicity, and un-edited neutral precision in every detail.

The details are extremely important as they make up the whole experience. That's true for both photography and loudspeakers. As in photography, music is communication of emotions and I try to find tools that can capture, relay and express this without making it artificial or untrue to the original.


Joy Villa in the Berlin apartment with the Beoplay A1, Beoplay A2 and the DALI Kubik Free wireless speakers. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4.
Joy Villa in the Berlin apartment with the Beoplay A1, Beoplay A2 and the DALI Kubik Free wireless speakers. Leica M9 with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4.

 

Even the DALI Kubik Free is 4.5 kilo (9 pounds; the Beoplay A2 is 1.1 kg/2.2 pounds), I decided to dedicate a corner of the suitcase to it.

 

The Dali Kubik Free without the front. I'm so happy with these speaker, I ordered the Dali Kubik Free Xtra that connects with this one with a cable and makes it a set of stereo speakers. In the front is the B&O H9i headphones (see further down).
The DALI Kubik Free without the front. I've been so happy with it, I ordered the Dali Kubik Free Xtra that connects with this one with a cable and makes it a set of stereo speakers. This set if for places where I stay for a while as they don't go in a suitcase, but in storage, when I travel. In the front is the B&O H9i headphones (see further down).

 

On the road with the best bluetooth sound. The Dali Katch is battery-powered and beats the Beoplay A2 on weight and - more importantly - sound. By far. This is my prefefred travel speaker. You can also set up two of them as stereo, but that's a little too complicated for me (you have to keep both connected on bluetooth). Here it's bringing music to my workshop in Amsterdam in May 2017.
On the road with the best Bluetooth sound. In 2017 I got the Dali Katch battery-powered Bluetooth speaker that beats the Beoplay A2 on weight and - more importantly - sound. By far. This is my preferred travel speaker. You can also set up two of them as stereo, but that's a little too complicated for me (you have to keep both connected on Bluetooth). Here it's bringing music to my workshop in Amsterdam in May 2017.

 

Headphones

 

Master & Dynamic headphones Made in New York ($398) is one of my favorite right now. The wireless Beats Solo 2 ($298) Apple gifted me are cool and sexy (but are warm and tight on the ears). The Master & Dynamic sits comfortably on the head without pressing the ears (and glasses if you wear those). The sound isolation is in top, and the sound quality is really good!
Master & Dynamic
headphones Made in New York ($398) is one of my favorite right now. The wireless Beats Solo 2 ($298) Apple gifted me are cool and sexy (but are warm and tight on the ears). The Master & Dynamic sits comfortably on the head without pressing the ears (and glasses if you wear those). The sound isolation is in top, and the sound quality is really good!

 

Master & Dynamic Noctilux 0.95 Edition

Master & Dynamic started out with a mission to unite design and good sound, so no surprise they liked to use Leica cameras also. Their enthusiasm for Leica resulted in a headphone series dedicated to the Noctilux 0.95. Available in silver and black (as the lens), and in different models.

 

The 0.95 black MH40 headphones, and there are also in-ear "0.95" versions now. See more here.
The 0.95 black MH40 headphones, and there are also in-ear "0.95" versions now. See more here.

 

Master of the Universe headphones from Master & Dynamic. Made in the USA.
Master of the Universe headphones from Master & Dynamic. Made in the USA.

 

Beats vs Master & Dynamic

Getting music when out and about is a constantly changing game these days. I've used in-ear headphones a lot because they are easy to travel with, but recently I have used Beats and Master & Dynamics headphones.

The Beats by Dr. Dre gold wireless headphones are a really nice design-piece. Not having to deal with a cable is a lot nicer than you would think. Suddenly you can walk away from the phone or computer and keep listening (or talking; it also has built-in microphone). The build quality and the "invisible" touch-buttons built into the design for adjustment of volume, muting, skipping to next track, etc. as well as battery indicator is very well designed. The sound is the Beats sound, like it or not. Sometimes you need that extra punch.

The new black in headphones are the Masters of the Universe we got recently. They are the silver aluminum/brown calfskin Master & DynamicMH40. We got them with the microphone you attach to the mini-jack, not knowing the headphones already comes with two cables. One of them with built-in microphone and volume control (and skip to next track). The headphones also features a mute button on the headphones themselves you can press if you need to hear something or talk to somebody. Pretty neat! But the main feature is the sound that has really good deep bass, but far from the cluttered Beats sound. They sit better on the head than Beats (which can be painful if you wear glasses as they press the frame into the head).

 

Joy Villa's CD "I Make The Static"
Joy Villa's CD "I Make The Static" (no 1 on iTunes and Amazon) and Master & Dynamic headphones MH40.

 

I'm a weak person

Since I saw the FENDI X Beats that comes in yellow, red, black or blue calfskin as a special limited hand-sewn edition, I wasn't able to put the idea off. When I lost my Shure in-ear on a plane and desperately needed new headphones (all my other three sets of Beats in orange, gold and black were home) ... the Fendi store in New York made sure to tempt me.

I'm a weak person. They're big, but boy are they beautiful to look at and touch. I noticed that the yellow calfskin bag they come with could work as a camera pouch ... as an excuse.

 

My Beats x Fendi Pro Headphones. It's fashion porn. It's the headphones I love the most, not for comfort, but for how special they are.
My Beats x Fendi Pro Headphones. It's fashion porn. It's the headphones I love the most, not for comfort, but for how special they are.

 

Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth headphones

  Beoplay E8 in-ear headphones
Beoplay E8 in-ear headphones
   
  Beoplay H9i wireless with Active Sound Cancellation
Beoplay H9i wireless with Active Sound Cancellation

There's russian caviar, American jeans and Scandinavian design. All regions have something special.

Denmark have LEGO, Wegner chairs, PH lamps and Bang & Olufsen stereo.

I felt an urge to bring something from my home country (Denmark) with me when I saw the Beoplay E8 in-ear Bluetooth headphones. I got a set, but I wasn't that impressed with the sound quality. I was just about to send them back to B&O when Joy snapped them from me and now loves them to bits in the gym. She used a similar set of Jabra 100 Sport before these.

Unfulfilled as I was, I soon noticed that Band & Olufsen was coming out with the Beoplay H9i, and I managed to visit the local B&O store the morning they were released, a few hours before I was hopping on an airplane. My review in short is that I was and am exhilarate to have found yet another pair of headphones.

They sound quality of the Beoplay H9i is actually very good. These are my only headphones with Active Sound Cancellation since I had some Sennheiser 250 years ago. While the Shure in-ear does isolate quite a bit, there is nothing like the silence of Active Sound Cancellation - with or without music - on an airplane flight.

The touch-feature on the right side of the headphones for start/stop, adjusting volume, skipping a track and so on is a tad too advanced to remember. Mostly, if there is the minor amount of dirt on them, that tend to stop the music (or video if you are using them for that) abruptly. Also, headrests, pillows, long hair or anything else fairly close to the right side of the headphones will have the same effect (that the music stops). Bummer.

 

Shure in-ear speakers

  $999 Shure SE 846 in-ear phones
  $999 Shure SE 846 in-ear phones
  My Shure SE 535 in limited RED edition.
My Shure SE 535 in limited RED edition.

On the plane I have used the Shure in-ear headphones though I have a troubled relationship to them. I've had two sets of Shure SE 535 that died on airplanes and now have a third set.

If the cables get tangled into something - as they easily does on most airplanes - the earpiece break. Getting them replaced is almost impossible and usually cost the same as a new set of earphones. If it's jus the cable, that is easily replaced.

When it had happened twice for my SE 535 (and once for Joy's Shure SE425 in-ear phones), I decided I might as well try the new $999 Shure SE 846 in-ear phones that reportedly should be the best sound.

Unfortunately, the SE 846 comes with a whole kit of stuff to unscrew and change the setup inside ... just not made for travel. And what is worse is that the headphones unscrew themself. They have many advantages but - for me - they've been a little expensive in keeping running. The bass seems a little exaggerate in the SE 846. Not like Beats, but enough to make the bass dirty (and distortion is painful for the ears). The SE 535 is probably the closest to monitor sound.

I was almost relieved when I forgot the black box with the SE 846 on another airplane (note to myself: put something bright orange or yellow onto the black box so it can be seen in an airplane!).

After a few months I succumbed and bought a set of Shure SE 535 in limited RED edition in Tokyo. Despite all my enthusiasm for sound, the Shure has been my most trusted travel-companion. Very high quality sound, very strong sound-isolation, and very easy to fit into a bag dus to the small size.

Shure in-ear goes Bluetooth

Generally speaking, using Bluetooth reduces the sound quality with about 20%, but it's practical not to have cables. For the Shure you can now get a wireless cable that fits all models. The Shure RMCE-BT1 cable is $99 at BH Photo and elsewhere.

 

         
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The Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Leica M 240 with Leica Cine 100mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © 2015-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.
The Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Leica M 240 with Leica Cine 100mm Summicron-C f/2.0. © 2015-2018 Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The Leica M 240 to PL Mount Adaptor

The adapter for the Leica M 240 and Leica M-P 240 that allow it to take PL mount lenses (Leica Cine lenses) ships from CW Sonderoptic in Wetzlar since April 2015. The adaptor is specific for the Leica M 240 and they havent made one for the Leica M10 yet (as it doesn't do video). It could be cool to use a cinema lens on the Leica M10 for stills, so maybe an adapter will come.

 

Leica M240 with the Leica M PL Mount Adaptor. More info.
Leica M240 with the Leica M PL Mount Adaptor. More info.


The PL Mount Adaptor for Leica M 240 and Leica M 246. There hasn't been made one for Leiac M10 (which hasn't got video).
The PL Mount Adaptor for Leica M 240 and Leica M 246. There hasn't been made one for Leica M10 (which hasn't got video).

 

Buy a Leica Cine lens for your still camera

The Leica Cine lenses now are sold as single lenses as well and not just in sets of $105,000 (for the Summicron-C lenses) and $350,000 for a set of Summilux lenses.

Most Summicron-C lenses are in the range of $17,500 (or €12,000) plus the PL to M adaptor that is around $2,400. The Summilux-C lenses are about 100% more expensive and 30-40% larger. The Leica Cine lenses covers the full frame from 75mm and up.

 

My Leica M240 with the Leica M PL Mount Adaptor and Leica Cine 18mm Summicron-C f/2.0. The lens is put into the PL mount and locked in place with the aluminum handle you see sticks out. There hasn't beenn made an adapter for the Leica M10 yet - likely because the Leica M10 doesn't do video.
My Leica M240 with the Leica M PL Mount Adaptor and Leica Cine 18mm Summicron-C f/2.0. The lens is put into the PL mount and locked in place with the aluminum handle you see sticks out. There hasn't beenn made an adapter for the Leica M10 yet - likely because the Leica M10 doesn't do video.

 

 

Macro with the Leica M

Macro photography is for nerds who love to lie under the flowers in the garden and play with insects. Right, but it is also a new way of seeing the world in many other regards. When you start to do macro, you start to notice details in woodwork, the bell on the bicycle, the steam rising from the hot coffee. It can be very intersting and is not as easy as you would think. It's a new way of seeing.

 

 

OUFRO

Fortunately for some, unfortunately for others, already before the Leica M10 and Leica M 240 with Live View was available, some of us started collecting the Leitz OUFRO macro ring that rather simple makes any M lens into macro.

It is massive brass ring with a Leica M bayonet in each end, moving the lens 10mm away from the body of the camera and excludes light coming in. It was an acessory of the 60' and 70's with the Visoflex housing. With the Live View of the Leica M 240 and Leica M10 it suddenly made sense again!

They used to be $50 - $100 on eBay for those who could see the use of them, and one could even buy several so as to stack them on the lens (and get greater magnification). All the new popularity of this outdated piece of metal resulted in a current price range of $150 to $600 on eBay, making the OUFRO almost as expensive as inkjet ink per kilo. There are also several third-party versions now, but of course the original Leitz OUFRO is the cool one to get.

 

The Leitz OUFRO macro adapter ring from the 60's and 70's is in use again, hence the prices on eBay has increased with up to 500% in just one year.
The Leitz OUFRO macro adapter ring from the 60's and 70's is in use again, hence the prices on eBay has increased with up to 500% in just one year.

 

The new OUFRO - The Leica Macro Adapter M

In May 2014 Leica Camera AG released the Leica Macro Adapter M ring (pictured below) that basically is the re-make of the Leica OUFRO. Now with a bit-code on the bayonet, as well as adjustable zoom.

 

The Leica 90mm Macro-Elmar M f/4 Macro Kit

The classic macro kit from Leica is still available - both new and second-hand - and is a marvel of engineering to touch and play with. The good thing about it is that it also works on Leica M9, Leica M Monochrom and Leica M film cameras. That's where you use the goggles; to adjust the viewfinder to the closer view.

But the Leica 90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4.0 also works as a normal 90mm lens by itself.

 

The current macro kit consisting of the excellent 90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4.0 and the Macro-Adapter-M. The kit sells for a little less than $4,000 while the adapter itself without lens is $695.
The current macro kit consisting of the excellent 90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4.0 and the Macro-Adapter-M. The kit sells for a little less than $4,000 while the adapter itself without lens is $695.

 

The precious macro set with googles and angle-finder as it used to be for Leica M9 and previous models of the Leica M without Live View. Leica 90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4.0, Angle viewfinder M (not seen in this photo) and Macro Adapter M. Photo by Harry's Pro Shop.
The precious macro set with googles and angle-finder as it used to be for Leica M9 and previous models of the Leica M without Live View. Leica 90mm Macro-Elmar-M f/4.0, Angle viewfinder M (not seen in this photo) and Macro Adapter M. Photo by Harry's Pro Shop.

 

The price is a little steep, perhaps inspired by the eBay market prices. In fact it is €550 or $690. Small things in photography comes with a large price. But then again, it does convert all your Leica M lenses into precious macro instrument.

 

The Leica Macro Adapter M is basically a re-make of the now extremely popular Leitz OUFRO. It does not have any optics in it, it only extends the lens from the body.
The Leica Macro Adapter M is basically a re-make of the now extremely popular Leitz OUFRO. It does not have any optics in it, it only extends the lens from the body.

 

One easily overseen detail is that the macro ring is variable! It is very neatly designed and is a real piece of Leica engineering. One turns the ring and it expands, as simple as that. $690 at BH Photo.
One easily overseen detail is that the macro ring is variable! It is very neatly designed and is a real piece of Leica engineering. One turns the ring and it expands, as simple as that. $690 at BH Photo.

 

As can be seen in this image, the extent of macro (how far out the lens is moved from the Leica M body) is different from the OUFRO to the Leica M Macro adapter. The OUFRO is about 10mm extended and is a compact choice for traveling to have a macro possibility that give closer-than-usual possibilities. The Leica M Macro adapter get's you even closer and is, I guess, a real macro adapter for those who want to do really close-up macro.
As can be seen in this image, the extent of macro (how far out the lens is moved from the Leica M body) is different from the OUFRO to the Leica M Macro adapter.
The OUFRO is about 10mm extended and is a compact choice for traveling to have a macro possibility that give closer-than-usual possibilities. The Leica M Macro adapter get's you even closer and is, I guess, a real macro adapter for those who want to do really close-up macro.

 

Size proportions for the Leica Macro M adapter and the OUFRO

         
Leica Macro Adapter at closest (most extended) distance   Leica Macro Adapter widest (least extended) distance   The Leitz OUFRO
Leica Macro Adapter at closest (most extended) distance   Leica Macro Adapter widest (least extended) distance   The Leitz OUFRO
         

 

Working with the Leica Macro M Adapter and the Leica 90mm Elmarit-M f/2.8. Any Leica lens will work with the macro dapter and make that lens into a macro lens. A 90mm lens is the best to work with for macro.
Working with the Leica Macro M Adapter and the Leica 90mm Elmarit-M f/2.8. Any Leica lens will work with the macro dapter and make that lens into a macro lens. A 90mm lens is the best to work with for macro.

 

Flexible and leight weight: The Novoflex Extension tube set Leica M (model LEM/VIS II) is €199 from Novoflex or $379 from BH Photo.
Flexible and leight weight: The Novoflex Extension tube set Leica M (model LEM/VIS II) is €199 from Novoflex or $379 from BH Photo.

Novoflex Extension Tube Set Leica M

Novoflex in Germany, who used to produce quite a few of the funny add-ons for Leica back in the day, came out with a new gadget almost as simple as the OUFRO in April 2014. But then they made it a little bit more advanced by adding several rings of different extension which one can use individually, or all together. Depending on the use of the 3 inner rings the magnification can be between 1:0,28:1 and 1:0,84 (with a 50mm lens). It is very well-made of light-weight material (whereas the OUFRO is massive brass with a chrome layer) and has a bit code as well.

The Novoflex tube set also allow one to attach Visoflex II/III to Leica M10 and Leica M 240. Now, either you have all that Visoflex jazz from back when, or this will get you started surfing eBay for Visoflex odd things that suddenly are of interesting use again. Whoever get the idea first get to buy it for the least. This is the reason the set is called Adapter Set for Visoflex II/III to Leica M, though it is basically a macro tube set for any Leica M lens (that at the same time enables infinity focus with Visoflex lenses and functions as a Visoflex extension tube set).

 

Flexible and leightweight: The Novoflex Extension tube set Leica M (model LEM/VIS II) is €249 from Novoflex or $379 from BH Photo.
Flexible and leightweight: The Novoflex Extension tube set Leica M (model LEM/VIS II) is €249 from Novoflex or $379 from BH Photo.

 

 

Leica Bellows R

If you want to nerd all out on Macro, why not go for the full killer kit? The Leica R Bellows was made by Novoflex for Leica and is for anyone who are serious about getting to the tiniest details. It's actually so detailed that you cannot get the same 1:3 view as with the previous adapter/tubes. You get way closer.

Also, to use it you need a Leica R-to-M Adapter to connect the tubes to the camera, as well as one or more Leica R lenses, and of course the Leica R Bellows them self ($500 or so on eBay).

If you want to go all the way, the Leica Bellows also exist for Visoflex, which means that you need a Vioflex housing (the mirror and adapter) as well as Visoflex lenses. All available on eBay for either very small money, or very expensive; Depends on how rare and sought after they are. Some items are considered old metal, others are collected as stamps).

 

The Leica R Bellows is for the serious nerd. They take all Leica R lenses but require a Leica R-to-M Adapter ($310) as well to connect to the Leica M10 or Leica M240. Here shown with a Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8 which actually makes some nice macro shots from a far distance ... though not exactly a compact travel kit.
The Leica R Bellows is for the serious nerd. They take all Leica R lenses but require a Leica R-to-M Adapter ($310) as well to connect to the Leica M10 or Leica M240. Here shown with a Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8 which actually makes some nice macro shots from a far distance ... though not exactly a compact travel kit.

 

 

 

 

     
 

The Things You Don't Need for your Leica M

To justify all the things you might get, it's good to balance it all with taking something out of the camera bag.

 
     
 

1. You don't need lens caps

With a rangefinder you may easily forget to remove the lens cap. But moreover, the lens don't really need all that protection unless you throw it in a bag full of coins and keys. And that would in any case ruin the paint on the barrel.
The way most of us carry lenses, is in a soft compartment in a bag, or on a camera around the neck. In those instances, the lens does not need a lens cap.
It is quite unpractical to have to keep an eye on a lens cap when you want to take a photo. Did you take it off? Where do you put it while you take the photo, and did you remember to put it on again or did you forget it on the table?

 
     
 

2. You don't need UV-filters

Having protective filters on the lenses is something we seem to be taught about from we start photographing. Fact is that the UV-filter glass is much more soft and less resistant than the glass on the lens. Hence the UV-filter is more likely to get scratches than your lens.

With the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M you will see reflections of light when using an UV-filter. It says directly in the manual for the lens not to use one. It is logical that adding an extra layer of glass doesn't improve the image quality. The manual of the Leica M Noctilux actually say not to use UV filters on this lens.

Carry the lens wide open and proud, the lens shade will take care of some of the protection, and most lenses are scratched when not in use, rather than when they are being carried and used.

UV-filters will not protect you against Joy Villa. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. @ 2013-2014 Thorsten Overgaard.
UV-filters will not protect you against Joy Villa. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. @ 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

A funny note was that I taught a workshop in Korea, and on the third day - after that everyone is well aware that one does not need UV-filters but should get ND-filters, we go to a Leica Store to see if they might have ND-filters. They didn't, but when we get outside the store I notice one of the students have put on a UV-filter on his Noctilux. I ask him, and he tells me "I walked up to the counter, and the guy said, ´Uh! You need to protect that lens' and then he sold me a UV-filter".

Now, this is rather hilarious because Leica makes UV-filters that you don't need but doesn't make ND-filters that you actually do need. And it is very "photo store thinking" that you should get UV-filters, paper cloths and air blowers to clean your lenses, backpacks, flashes and tripods. Grr!

 
     
 

3. You don't need stickers and plastic covers

The Leica M cameras comes with a sticker under the bottom plate because the law requires it. And for some reason the only part of the camera that has protective plastic on it, is the bottom plate (this piece of metal that cost €90 as a spare part!).

  Ms. Brenda removing the sticker of her Leica M
  Ms. Brenda removing the sticker of her Leica M

Now, both have to go. You can't have a "Made in Germany" art piece of industrial design with 100 years of tradition behind their brand - and then a black sticker and plastic on it. Cars come from the factory covered in plastic because they are transported by ships and truck, but you wouldn't drive a car wrapped in plastic, would you?

No.

The sticker can be hard to remove, but you do it with your nails. The rest of the glue from the sticker goes right off with gasoline. It takes less than 5 minutes and is a great feeling, almost religious. This is the point where you take ownership and responsibility for your camera. Now you can use it!

 
     
 

4. You don't need leather pouches for lenses

For some reason Leica lenses comes in leather pouches. You should keep the original boxes and everything in them if you can (or give it to a dealer; he will be happy!). They are good when you eventually sell the lens. If you visit vintage camera stores, you will realize that original boxes, hoods and pouches can be more expensive than what was inside. So even if you plan to never sell anything, then think of your kids. When you die, those boxes will be worth a fortune (including the grey protective box that is outside the actual box). Just one of those things ...

But leather is a bad combination with glass. A lens inside a leather pouch may grow fungus, which is a living thing that eat the glass. Fungus grow best in dark and high humidity. No better place to put your lenses if you want to see how fungus looks like, or mushrooms. So keep the leather pouches, but don't use them.

 
     
     
     
     
     

 

GPS with the Leica M10

The EVF 0020 for the Leica M10 contains the GPS unit. Without the EVF, there is no GPS in the Leica M10. I generally have my GPS turned off becuase I don't value it much. I never use the location. Further, it takes battery and doesn't always work.

 

The reason why GPS doesn't work

There are two things to know about GPS, and only one of them you can influence.

It takes a GPS unit up to 15 minutes to find a GPS signal. When you use a GPS unit in your car, it uses the position where you parked and works from there till it finds a new signal.

If the Leica M10 is set to power off after 2 minutes (which is a good idea for battery management), the GPS that is located in the EVF is turned off. Once it is turned on again, it will take a while - up to 15 minutes - before it finds the location.

You can have the camera on all the time and switch on and off the EVF and Live View manually to save battery. That will allow the GPS unit to have time to find a position.

The other factor in GPS is the quality of the GPS unit. Modern advanced GPS-units can find their position inside buildings by using reflecting signals from other buildings, calculating the exact distance and hence position. The Leica Multifunctional Handgrip is not of that type. Cars, trains and thin roofs will block the signal.

Someone mentioned that GPS works well in the US, and that is true. It works better in some countries and locations than other.

 

The reason why iPhone works

The iPhone and iPad use a database Apple Computer has of where WiFi routers are located. It is an old system meant for locating distress signals, and Apple has the database and thus use the WiFi signals to locate the phone. It doesnt need access to the WiFi networks, only their name to know the location.

 

 

When you got all that, then what's next?

The ultimate gadget for the Leica M9 owner with all the extras ... well, here it is: The Artisan & Artist leather collar for your cat or dog. Or as an arm wrist, if you like, available in black, red, gold and other colors.

A&A is mainly a Japanese producer of luxury bags and belts, so the camera bags and camera straps are just because the owner of A&A happens to like photography. They also produce iPhone covers, iPad covers and more.

 

Leica Photographers Gloves from Leica Store Tokyo

If you are familiar with the Leica Store Tokyo, you are also familiar with the fact that they like to create nice design for Leica products, ranging from well-designed Leica shopping bags to the Leica M7 Hermes Special Edition (the chrome with orange leather - Leica Japan is still partly owned by Hermes). Leica Store Tokyo is also the place to find the Leica gloves, designed and made for Leica Store Tokyo, and only available there. The price is 6,000 Yen ($75), and if you try to get them, be aware it is Japanese sizes. The largest is the "Large" which is equivalent to "Medium" in Europe and USA.

As a very special inside for any Leica M9 owner looking for something absolutely special, keep an eye out for the 50 Year Anniversary edition at the Leica Store Tokyo. They celebrate the 50th year anniversary in spring 2011, and I bet they will come up with an interesting and well-designed M9.

 

Leica Gloves from Leica Store Tokyo
The accessory you won't be able to live without: Special edition Leica gloves with Pittard WR101X leather inside and stretchable Polartec on the outside (The camera is another story, just a funny key chain, not from Leica Store Tokyo).

 

Thorsten Overgaard's Shopping List for Anything

Lenses:

39mm ND Filter 0.9 3-stop 8X for 50mm APO and 35mm Summicron - From BH / From Amazon
46mm ND Filter 0.9 3-stop 8X for 35mm Summilux - From BH / From Amazon
49mm ND Filter 0.9 3-stop 8X for 28mm Summilux - From BH / From Amazon
50mm ND Filter 0.9 3-stop 8X for 50mm Noctilux - From BH / From Amazon
Series VIII ND Filter 0.9 3-stop 8X for 21mm Summilux - From BH

 

White balance and light metering:

WhiBal white balance card in credit card size - From Amazon

 

 

     
 

To be continued ...

 

 
     

 

 
 

 

 

 

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246 as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4                                
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1         Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5   Leica CL: 1 2             Books
   
   

 

– Thorsten Overgaard
#1860-0318

   


leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica M10   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica CL
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica TL2
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 1
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Sofort instant camera
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder   Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
     
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica SL and TL lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 180mm R lenses
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leica Cine Lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
     
History and overview:   Leica S:
Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica S digital medium format
Leica Camera Compendium    
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
    Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Capture One Survival Kit
Quality of Light   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Lightmeters   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
White Balance & WhiBal   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
X-Rite   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
The Origin of Photography    
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Leica OSX folder icons   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Bespoke Camera Bags by Thorsten Overgaard:   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
"The Von" travel camera bag   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
"Messenger" walkabout bag    
"24hr Bag" travel bag   Thorsten von Overgaard oin Amazon:
"The Von Backup" camera backpack   "Finding the Magic of Light"
     
     
Leica Photographers:    
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 200 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
Jono Slack   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   The Leica User Forum
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   I-Shot-It photo competition
     
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Bespoke Camera Bags and Luxury Travel Bags   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 

 

Above: The Leica M digital rangefinder cameras. © 2018 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

Leica M10 Firmware Updates (link)
Leica M10 User Manual as PDF

Leica M User Forum Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard by Ray Kachatorian
Thorsten von Overgaard by Ray Kachatorian

Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 Video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL full-frame mirrorless
Leica R9 and R8 SLR with digital back
Leica Q
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit 7
Capture One Survival Kit 10

The Story Behind That Picture

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / TL2 / SL

 

 

 

 

Overgaard Photo Workshops


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


     
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